Article "O Holy Child of Bethlehem (1896)" by George Whitefield Chadwick

Image: Harper's Magazine, Christmas, 1892
Harper's Magazine, Christmas, 1892. Black and white copy of original. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

O Holy Child of Bethlehem (1896) sets the final verse of Phillip Brooks' Christmas poem, "O Little Town of Bethlehem." Brooks (1835-93) was a noted Episcopal clergyman and author who served during the early 1890s as bishop of Massachusetts. Three years after visiting Bethlehem in 1865, Brooks wrote the now famous poem for his congregation.

Chadwick's setting of this text is for alto solo, chorus, and organ. It uses mostly simple diatonic harmonies until the climax at the text "Come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel." He employs successive diminished chords and widely-spaced voicing at "Our Lord," after which the harmony subsides into largely subdominant/tonic alternations.

Format Web Pages
Subjects Article
Chadwick, G. W. (George Whitefield)
Choral Music
Parlor and Concert Stage
Rise of Industrial America
Songs and Music
Worship and Praise
"O Holy Child of Bethlehem (1896)" by George Whitefield Chadwick
Subject Headings
-  Chadwick, G. W. (George Whitefield) -- 1854-1931 -- -- composer
-  Choral music
-  Worship and Praise
-  Songs and Music
-  Parlor and Concert Stage
-  rise of industrial america (1877-1900)
-  Articles
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