Advent song for December 16: Tu scendi dalle stelle, Italy

The history of the Christmas carol is somewhat murky, but sources seem to agree that the first Christmas carols (as distinct from winter celebration songs, which are much older) emerged from Italy from around the second century onwards, and were always sung in Latin. Some early fragments of tunes or words survive (Veni Veni Emmanuel is a version of the Antiphons, which have been around since at least the eighth century), and of course we still sing some Christmas music in Latin, but from the thirteenth century onwards carols started to be sung in the language of the people. Tu scendi dalle stelle (usually translated as From Starry Skies Descending or From Starry Skies Thou Comest) dates from 1744, so it’s a baby compared to some Italian carols. There are versions by Luciano¬†Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, among others, but I have gone for a simpler choral version.

Advertisements

Author: Laura Morgan

Laura Morgan lives on the internet. She mostly likes Agatha Christie and trains.