Three Kings

This Christmas we count down the days with an advent calendar of the 25 best Christmas carols ever written, as voted for by 50 top choral experts from the across the UK and US.

3 December: Three Kings

Words: Peter Cornelius


Music: Peter Cornelius arr. Atkins

When Worcester Cathedral’s organist Ivor Atkins came across Cornelius’s 19th-century song ‘Die Könige’ he knew he had struck gold. In his atmospheric arrangement of the epiphany carol, Atkins gives Cornelius’s words and melody to a baritone soloist. A four-part choir singing Phillippe Nicolai’s 16th-century hymn ‘How Brightly Shines the Morning Star’ accompanies the baritone’s tale of ‘three Kings from Persian lands afar’.

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