A spotless rose (Herbert Howells)

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  • (Posted 2020-01-23)  CPDL #56736:   
Editor: Ross Jallo (submitted 2020-01-23).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 432 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Piano reduction omitted.

General Information

Title: A Spotless Rose
Composer: Herbert Howells
Lyricist: Catherine Winkworth after Es ist ein Ros entsprungen

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB with tenor or baritone solo
Genre: SacredAnthem

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1919

Description: One of Howells's three Carol Anthems for Christmas. First published in 1919, and therefore public domain in the United States (though not yet elsewhere).

External websites: 1996 performance by The Sixteen (Harry Christophers, director; Simon Birchall, baritone)

Original text and translations

English.png English text

A Spotless Rose is blowing,
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;
For through our God's great love and might,
The Blessed Babe she bare us
In a cold, cold winter's night.