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Finzi In Terra Pax

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Published on Dec 10, 2012

Gerald Finzi's "In Terra Pax" ("Peace on Earth"), sublimely performed by Ah Young Hong, soprano, and Brian Ming Chu, baritone, with Mark Hardy conducting members of the JHU Chorale. Recorded 12/8/12.

Lyrics by Robert Bridges and the Gospel of Luke:

Baritone:
A frosty Christmas Eve
When the stars were shining
Fared I forth alone,
Where westward falls the hill,
And from many a village
In the water'd valley
Distant music reach'd me
Peals of bells were ringing:
The constellated sounds
Ran sprinkling on earths floor
As the dark vault above
With stars was spangled oer.

Then sped my thoughts to keep
That first Christmas of all
When the shepherds watching
By their folds ere the dawn,
Heard music in the fields
And marvelling could not tell
Whether it were angels
Or the bright stars singing.

Choir:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them:

Soprano:
Fear not: for, behold, I bring good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sing unto you:
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in the manger.

Choir:
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying:
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Baritone:
But to me hear'd afar
It was starry music
Angels song, comforting
As the comfort of Christ
When he spoke tenderly,
To His sorrowful flock:
The old words came to me
By the riches of time
Mellow'd and transfigured
As I stood on the hill
Hark'ning in the aspect
Of th'eternal silence

Choir:
And on earth peace,
Good will toward men.

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