Music for Advent and Christmas Carol Services and Concerts:
Prayer on Christmas Eve (Gebet in der Christnacht) for SATB and piano * by Hensel arr. Sparkhall
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Gebet in der Christnacht for SATB (a cappella)
Gebet in der Christnacht for SSA and piano
About the composer
For years, Fanny Hensel has been known as the sister of Felix Mendelssohn. Since the discovery of many of her compositions, some previously published in Felix’s name, she has become more widely recognised in her own right.
About the piece
Gebet in der Christnacht is a solo song from 1823. Here it is arranged for SATB with piano accompaniment, showcasing the teenaged composer’s use of harmony that became synonymous with the early Romantics. (A version for a cappella SATB is also available.)
Gebet in der Christnacht (Prayer on Christmas Eve) is one of at least eight songs Hensel composed in 1823 which sets poems by Wilhelm Müller. It is from the cycle Johannes und Esther. (Im Frühling zu lesen.) (John and Esther. (To read in the spring.))
About the arranger
Olivia Sparkhall studied composition at Durham University with Paul Archbold, composing for the Northern Sinfonietta and Flower Quartet as part of her studies. Since moving to South West England, she has focused primarily on writing vocal music, notably for BBC One’s Songs of Praise programme. Recent commissions have been for International Women’s Day services in 2018 (Lux Aeterna) and 2019 (Faith and Hope). She was short-listed in the Cappella Nova competition in 2018 for Dona Nobis Pacem. Gabriel’s Message (2018) received it’s premiere (in the version with piano accompaniment) in Southwark Cathedral and (in the version with harp accompaniment) in Salisbury Cathedral. She is currently working on a large-scale commission which is due for delivery on 1 September 2019.