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Praetorius: Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen (Monteverdi Choir)

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Published on Dec 24, 2009

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Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, most commonly translated to English as Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming, is a Christmas carol of German origin. The text is thought to be penned by an anonymous author, and the piece first appeared in print in the late-16th century. The hymn has been used by both Catholics and Protestants, with the focus of the song being Mary or Jesus, respectively.[citation needed] In addition, there have been numerous versions of the hymn, with varying texts and lengths.
The tune most familiar today appears in the Speyer Hymnal (printed in Cologne in 1599), and the familiar harmonization was written by German composer Michael Praetorius in 1609. The tune was used by Johannes Brahms as the basis for a chorale fantasy for organ, later transcribed for orchestra by Erich Leinsdorf, and by Hugo Distler as the basis for his 1933 oratorio Weihnachtsgeschichte ("Christmas story").
The English translation "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" was written by Theodore Baker in 1894. A translation of the first two verses of the hymn as "A Spotless Rose" was written by Catherine Winkworth and this was set as a SATB anthem by Herbert Howells in 1919.
Another Christmas hymn "A Great and Mighty Wonder" is set to the same tune as this carol and may sometimes be confused with it; it is, however, a hymn by St. Germanus, 734 (Μέγα χαί παράδοξον θαυμα), translated from Greek to English by John M. Neale, 1862.

German original
Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen,
aus einer Wurzel zart.
Wie uns die Alten sungen,
von Jesse war die Art.
Und hat ein Blüm'lein 'bracht;
mitten im kalten Winter,
wohl zu der halben Nacht.

Das Röslein, das ich meine,
davon Jesaia sagt:
hat uns gebracht alleine
Marie die reine Magd.
Aus Gottes ew'gem Rat,
Hat sie ein Kind geboren,
Und blieb ein reine Magd.
or: Welches uns selig macht.

Das Blümelein, so kleine,
das duftet uns so süß;
mit seinem hellen Scheine
vertreibt's die Finsternis.
Wahr'r Mensch und wahrer Gott!
Hilft uns aus allem Leide,
rettet von Sünd' und Tod.

Literal Translation
A rose has sprung up,
from a tender root.
As the old ones sang to us,
Its lineage was from Jesse.
And it has brought forth a floweret
In the middle of the cold winter
Right upon midnight.

The rosebud that I mean,
Of which Isaiah told
Is Mary, the pure,
Who brought us the floweret.
At Gods immortal word,
She has borne a child
Remaining a pure maid.
or: Who makes us blessed.

The floweret, so small
That smells so sweet to us
With its clear light
Dispels the darkness.
True man and true God!
He helps us from all trouble,
Saves us from sin and death.

English Lyrics
Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When halfspent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God's love aright,
She bore to men a Savior,
When halfspent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From Sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.

Winkworth's English Version
A Spotless Rose is growing,
Sprung from a tender root,
Of ancient seers' foreshowing,
Of Jesse promised fruit;
Its fairest bud unfolds to light
Amid the cold, cold winter,
And in the dark midnight.

The Rose which I am singing,
Whereof Isaiah said,
Is from its sweet root springing
In Mary, purest Maid;
Through God's great love and might
The Blessed Babe she bare us
In a cold, cold winter's night.

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