A Gift from the Magi

January 6, 2016 at 10:30 am

Today Christians celebrate the Epiphany, when the Wise Men gave their gifts to Jesus. It’s the official close of the Christmas season, and a principal feast of the church. There are a number of carols devoted to the Magi – namely, “We Three Kings” and “The First Nowell.” But I thought we’d listen to something different as we move away from the big holidays.

Musically speaking, Albert Ketèlbey is the English predecessor of Leroy Anderson. His importance is underplayed because his most popular compositions tend to fall into the category of “light” music; however, his sound and style permeate English music, especially of film, to this day. His best-loved works painted exotic pictures for English listeners, and were a way for the average joe and jane to travel to distant lands through their ears.

So, since the Magi came from Persia, here is a delightful little piece, “In a Persian Market.”