Saturday, 23 November 2013


In a week of notable anniversaries, yesterday marked the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten. This was written while the composer was still at school - a setting of the anonymous medieval lyric, A Hymn to the Virgin - sung here by the Choir of Westminster Cathedral, directed by David Hill

A Hymn to the Virgin

Of on that is so fayr and bright  
        Velut maris stella,  
Brighter than the day is light,  
        Parens et puella:  
Ic crie to the, thou see to me,          
Levedy, preye thi Sone for me,  
        Tam pia,  
That ic mote come to thee  

Al this world was for-lore   
        Eva peccatrice,  
Tyl our Lord was y-bore  
        De te genetrice.  
With ave it went away  
Thuster nyth and comz the day   
The welle springeth ut of the,  

Levedy, flour of alle thing,  
        Rose sine spina,   
Thu bere Jhesu, hevene king,  
        Gratia divina:  
Of alle thu ber'st the pris,  
Levedy, quene of paradys  
Mayde milde, moder es  

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