In the Bleak Midwinter was originally a poem written by Christina Rossetti in 1872. It tells of the Jesus’ humble birth, reminding us that he came to serve and not to be served. This carol challenges us with the question of how we respond to Jesus – “What can I give Him, poor as I am?” The poet shows us the right response – “Give my heart.”
This arrangement features the melody from the first musical setting by Gustav von Holst, composer of The Planets and many other successful works. The English Hymnal first adopted this setting in 1906.
Noel Tredinnick orchestrated this classic carol, weaving in lush strings and complementing brass parts, topped with woodwind flourishes. A more sombre carol, this arrangement is sure to bring a calm, reflective mood to your Christmas service.
For the latest recordings of other carols, check out the All Souls Orchestra’s latest release A Festival of Christmas.
Orchestration and Parts
If you want to play our arrangement but don’t have access to an orchestra, download our £9.25 Worship Set designed for smaller bands.
The set includes:
- Chord chart
- Lead sheet (melody line, lyrics and chords)
- Lead instrument (encapsulating the melodic interest of the orchestration) in C and Bb
- Keyboard conductor (with cues for vocal and lead instrument lines)
- Keyboard reduction
- Choir parts