LANSDOWNE

SYMPHONY

ORCHESTRA

John Rutter All Bells in Paradise Program Notes

John Rutter, who was cheekily profiled as “The Composer Who Owns Christmas” by the New York Times last December, lives in a quaint and picturesque English village named Hemingford Abbots. He acknowledges that, although he has composed many longer and more serious works, thanks to his carols he’s ubiquitous around Christmas; “But I’m not unhappy to be associated with Christmas: better than famine, flood or war.” We’re performing one of his more recent carols, composed in 2012 for the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, with Rutter writing text and music.
 
Deep in the cold of winter,
Darkness and silence were eve'rywhere;
Softly and clearly, there came through the stillness a wonderful sound,
A wonderful sound to hear.

All bells in paradise I heard them ring,
Sounding in majesty the news that they bring;
All bells in paradise I heard them ring,
Welcoming our Saviour, born on earth, a heavenly King.
All bells in paradise, I heard them ring,
'Glory to God on high' the angel voices sing.

Lost in awe and wonder,
Doubting I asked what this sign may be;
Christ, our Messiah, revealed in a stable,
A marvelous sight, a marvelous sight to see.

All bells in paradise I heard them ring,
Sounding in majesty the news that they bring;
All bells in paradise I heard them ring,
Welcoming our Saviour, born on earth, a heavenly King.

He comes down in peace,
A child in humility,
The keys to his kingdom belong to the poor;
Before him shall kneel the kings with their treasures,
Gold, incense, and myrrh.

All bells in paradise I heard them ring,
Sounding in majesty the news that they bring;
All bells in paradise I heard them ring,
Welcoming our Saviour, born on earth, a heavenly King.
All bells in paradise, I heard them ring,
'Glory to God on high' the angel voices sing,
The angel voices sweetly sing.