One of the great sopranos left us just a couple of months ago: Jessye Norman, who died September 30 at 74 years of age. Norman was not only an amazing singer with the kind of voice that could fill a cathedral, but she was also extremely versatile, refusing to be typecast or limited in the roles she was able to perform or music she was able to sing. (She was even quoted at one point as saying “Pigeonholes are for pigeons.” Norman had impeccable dramatic control of her voice at all times, and she sang with a stunning clarity that was always something amazing to hear.
This song was actually written for Jessye Norman, by composer Donald Fraser. I haven’t been able to find a whole lot of information about it, but Fraser might have written it while at a party at which Norman was guest of honor. The song’s title is “This Christmastide”, but it is also apparently known as “Jessye’s Carol”. Enjoy!