Out of the Orient Crystal Skies
Composer Don Pearson Text 17th century
Voicing SAB and organ
Church Season Christmas, Epiphany
Length 3' 30" Price $1.75 (U.S.) Released 7/99
Catalog no. 405-309 Difficulty Moderately easy
Download a review copy of this anthem
"Donald Pearson's exquisite Falan-Tidings is deceptive. Because of its SAB voicing, familiar text, and Selah's spacious layout, it looks simpler than it is. It is, in fact, a work of subtlety and great depth. I am always impressed by Pearson's music-making, and this piece increases my admiration for him. The voice parts are as mellifluous as we should expect, but the harmonies are more mature and the phrase shapes are more seductive than ever. This lovely work takes carol setting to a new, eminently desirable place." --The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, November 2001.
"This anonymous text from the early seventeenth-century, "Out of the orient crystal skies," is a wonderful text about the three kings' visit to the Christ child that obviously works well for Epiphany. The accompaniment cleverly displays a hint of oriental texture and harmony. For SATB choir and organ, the arrangement is simple and varied. The first two stanzas are unison. The third stanza is SATB a cappella, and the fourth stanza is for unison voices with optional descant." --The Hymn, October 2001
A very welcome addition to the SAB literature for Christmas and Epiphany. Based on a 17th-century carol text, the work includes a single a capella stanza; otherwise the three-part texture is well-supported and enriched by the organ accompaniment.
Out of the orient crystal skies a blazing star did shine,
Showing the place where poorly lies a blessed babe divine,
Born of a maid of royal blood whom angels called by name,
A sacred rose which once did bud by grace of heavenly fame.
This shining star three kings did guide e'en from the farthest East,
To Bethlehem where it betide this blessed babe did rest.
Laid in a humble manger poor, betwixt an ox and ass,
Whom these three kings did all adore as God's high pleasure was.
The wise bring their learning, the rich may bring their wealth;
And some may bring their greatness, and some bring strength and health,
We too would bring our treasure to offer to the king.
We have no wealth or learning; what shall we pilgrims bring?
We'll bring him hearts that love him, we'll bring him thankful praise,
And mortal daily striving to walk in holy ways:
And these shall be the treasures we offer to the king,
And these are gifts that even, the humblest soul may bring.