Monday, 15 December 2008

15 December - What was the First Noël?

'The First Nowell' is a traditional English Christmas carol, most likely dating from the 16th or 17th century, but possibly dating from as early as the 13th century. But what was the first nowell?

Well, the answer is in What is Myrrh Anyway? (as well as the Bible, as it happens), available from all better bookshops now.

Readers of a certain age may remember the 1984 television adaptation of John Masefield's fantasy novel The Box of Delights, which starred former Doctor Who Patrick Troughton. Well, the seasonal theme music was Victor Hely-Hutchinson's orchestral arrangement of 'The First Noël' from his Carol Symphony.

And here, for your delectation , is the haunting opening to the show and the end of the first episode which features the music more fully.

No comments: