To many, Shaw Kirchner’s arrangement of “Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming” will be uncomfortable or even irreverent. I like it not only because it involves a gospel accompaniment (!) but because it brings this complex hymn into mainstream sing-ability, giving it a new lease on life. It’s one of the last Christmas carols I could ever imagine inducing spontaneous toe tapping and I love that this arrangement does just that.
As fun as the gospel take is, the original version remains exquisitely beautiful and should not be forgotten. Here it is, sung by the Monteverdi Choir.