warm and heavy
as pure gold,
and the angels sing softly
to the newborn babe.”
This is Edward Esch’s nativity poem, “Light and Gold.” In its simplicity, this poem conveys so much about what happened in the manger on that night. When contemporary composer Eric Whitacre took the original English words as inspiration for a choral arrangement in Latin, the poem comes to life as gorgeous, chilling sound. This is a totally different kind of Christmas song, but it will soon become one of your favorites.
When I hear this song sung, I get chills. Even if you know nothing about music, you’ll be able to appreciate each chord, and how the tones literally vibrate against each other to create something you’ll think you can reach out and hold. The suspensions of notes and sound create gorgeous images of light or darkness when you close your eyes and let the sound affect you.
There’s a moment in the arrangement where you will feel yourself change, and when you’ll clearly see when the “light / warm and heavy / as pure gold” rise up into the air around the choir. It’s so, so amazing how groups of notes, when arranged perfectly, can be physically felt by us. This is one of those moments where the true, original meaning of Christmas just fills your soul, and The Concordia Choir of Moorhead, Minnesota, sings it so beautifully.
Please SHARE with your friends and family to introduce them to this truly incredible Christmas song, like my high school choral teacher did for me (shout out to Mz. Ad!)… it can really change a person’s perspective on choral Christmas music, and really music in general!