Louise Howlett (Soprano) & Albert Combrink (Piano)
Silent Night – Christmas Carol in an arrangement by the performers)
Recorded live at the Fishhoek Civic Center, 20 December 2012
Originally composed in 1818 in German as “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht”, by Franz Xaver Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in the village of Arnsdorf. The song was declared an intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO in March 2011.
In 1859, John Freeman Young (second Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Florida) published the English translation that is most frequently sung today. The version of the melody that is generally sung today differs slightly (particularly in the final strain) from Gruber’s original, which was a sprightly, dance-like tune in 6/8 time, as opposed to the slow, meditative lullaby version generally sung today. The carol has been translated into about 140 languages.
Today, the lyrics and melody are in the public domain.