Tune of the Day: Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
“Es ist ein Ros entsprungen”, which literally means “A Rose Has Sprung Up” but is most commonly translated to English as “Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming”, is a Christmas carol of German origin. The hymn has been used by both Catholics and Protestants, with the focus of the song being Mary or Jesus, respectively. In addition, there have been numerous versions of the hymn, with varying texts and lengths.
The present tune first appeared in print in Cologne in 1599, and the familiar harmonization was written by German composer Michael Praetorius in 1609. The tune was later used by Johannes Brahms as the basis for a chorale fantasy for organ, and by Hugo Distler as the basis for his 1933 oratorio Weihnachtsgeschichte (“Christmas story”). Among the many English adaptations, perhaps the best known is by Theodore Baker, whose “Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming” was heard as recently as in the 1971 Academy Award winning movie Love Story.
Another Christmas hymn, “A Great and Mighty Wonder”, is also set to the same tune.