Advent Calendar Day 13: Den yndigste rose er funden – Klug / Faurschou

Just in case you thought that the only people in the Medieval era comparing Jesus to a rose were the English, and the Germans, and anyone who spoke Latin, here’s a Danish carol dating back to 1542 on a similar theme.  Having said that… I don’t actually speak Danish, so I’m rather relying on this translation for that information.

The melody is attributed to Josef Klug, a printer in 16th century Germany who seems to have particularly specialised in hymnbooks – it’s a little hard to know whether he was a composer or not; German Wikipedia doesn’t seem to think so, but a lot of church music seems to be attributed to him. The text is definitely by Hans Adolph Brorson, an 18th century Danish Pietist Bishop and hymnwriter.

I had trouble choosing a preferred arrangement for this.  This version, sung by DR Pigekoret, looks like a more classic rendering of the hymn, and I like it very much, but in the end, I decided to go with this more reflective version, arranged by Ole Faurschou, a contemporary composer and conductor from Vienna who now lives in Denmark.  (I got extremely excited when I saw the word ‘Eurovision’ in his Danish biography, but Google Translate informs me that the Eurovision contest in question was the Eurovision Choir Grand Prix, so there are probably far fewer sequins involved than I was envisaging…) (Key changes, on the other hand, he is clearly up for…)


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