"Arrival of the Magi" is a new piece derived from a larger work composed by Jeremy (Jez) Cladd who is an old friend of ours and who was Head Chorister during his teenage years at Peterborough Cathedral. After Jesus was born, the Bible describes how three Wise Men (Magi) came to look for Him, probably from an area which now comprises Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Yemen. Legends have since developed around them and given them the names of Caspar (King of Sheba ??" who brought Frankincense), Melchior (King of Arabia ??" who brought Gold) and Balthazar (King of Tarse and Egypt - who brought Myrrh). Their gifts foretell in allegory the life (and death) of the Christ. The music depicts their journey across the desert following the natal star to the village of Bethlehem where they find the child, and finishes with the calm as they approach the crib.
This is a traditional English carol rumoured to have originated in Derbyshire. The earliest printed version is from the 17th century and the familiar version was later published in William Sandys' collection of 'Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern' in 1833. There are numerous theories as to the meaning of the carol's words; after all, Bethlehem, the place of Jesus' birth is not a coastal location. It has been suggested that the ships are actually camels (ships of the desert) used by the Magi for their visit to the baby Jesus. My arrangement takes advantage of the traditional 'jig' style of this carol to add a little 'Celtic' flavour. Duration: 3.00Estimated delivery 5-10 working days