(Listen to choir recording here…with lyrics)
haunting winter hymn
lo, how a rose e’er blooming
flute plays minor key
This traditional Christmas carol sings a haunting melody, particularly when breathed through a flute. The flowing hymn hearkens back to Cologne, Germany in the 16th century during an evening snowfall. A high Renaissance tune which switches from solemnity to dance-like quality and back again, in half-frozen syncopation.
Originally sung in adoration of the virgin’s purity, Lutherans (ever reforming!) later tweaked the words to change its focus to Jesus Christ. As the hope of Israel, he fulfills the prophecies of Isaiah, appearing as the Branch, a stem from Jesse’s root, and the Rose of Sharon.
A rose in winter…totally unexpected and glorious!
Thanks to Toni for hosting the haibun prompt at dVerse and sharing the lovely photo of her mature quince tree blooming prematurely.