The second installment of our Season in Song Christmas greetings is the hymn “What Child Is This” (LSB 370)? This hymn was chosen by GEO Missionary Denise Schlesselman. Denise serves in Karvina, Czech Republic where she helps to proclaim the Gospel to many through opportunities to learn and speak English and many other activities. Denise works with a local church body toward a church plant in the area. Denise says:
This is my favorite because I love the melody. The words also are beautiful because it reminds us how humbly Christ was born. “Why lies he in such meek estate where ox & ass are feeding?” It reminds us that that this sweet baby will die “Nails, spears shall pierce him through, the cross be born for me and you” but he was born to save us “The King of Kings salvation brings let loving hearts enthrone him.”
This recording of “What Child Is This” is an improvised chorale partite on the hymn’s tune, “Greensleeves,” by the Rev. Dr. Christopher S. Ahlman, Career Missionary in Leipzig, Germany. The partite begins with the basic chorale and then has three additional parts:
1. “Haste” — an improvised portion based on “Haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the Son of Mary” from stanza 1.
2. “The Mean Estate” — an improvised portion based on the line “Why lies he in such mean estate…?” from stanza 2, this portion evokes the humility and humiliation of Christ, including his birth, life and death.
3. “Hail” — Based on the lines “Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the babe, the Son of Mary,” and on stanza 3, this improvised portion evokes praise and adoration of the God Who sends His own Son into the flesh to be born, live and die for all humanity.
The video was again created by Rick Steenbock, Communications and Projects Manager.
This non-commercial production, legal by virtue of product purchase, was made possible in part by Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ instrument software. © 2014 Milan Digital Audio LLC. All rights reserved.
Organ Art Media:
The use of the 1686/1720 Bosch/F. C. Schnitger organ for this non-commercial production was made possible by the gracious permission of Prof. Helmut Maier. © 2014 OrganArt Media 2006 Kusterdinger Straße 48 D-72827 Wannweil. All rights reserved.
Christopher S. Ahlman:
© 2014 Christopher S. Ahlman. All rights reserved.
Milan Digital Audio is the virtual organ software producer, OrganArt Media is the virtual organ producer, and I, the performer, actually own the recording itself.
- See and hear last week’s Season in Song installment: “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”
- Stay tuned for one last favorite Christmas hymn chosen by Rev. Alan Ludwig, serving in Siberia and coming up early next week.
- Looking for Advent music as we approach the 4th Sunday of Advent, check out an audio recording from last year’s Advent Season in Song series.