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Star in the East

Composer David Ashley White -- Text Reginald Heber
SATB, organ, opt. percussion
Church Season Epiphany
2' 15" Price $2.00 (U.S.) Released 11/93
Catalog no. 405-316 Difficulty Moderately easy
Discography Echoes of the American Cathedral: Music of David Ashley White, Robert Brewer, director and organist, Frances Anderson, co-director (Zephyr Productions Z-115-99)

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"Equally delicious, in a very different way, is the rambunctious joy of White's setting of the Sacred Harp tune STAR IN THE EAST ('Brightest and Best'). With the shimmer of finger cymbals, tambourine, and open fifths still in the air comes the unexpected-but-just-right use of HOLY MANNA in close harmony before the resinous original energy returns to sweep us home." -AAM Journal, Dec. 1994

Description White has again taken a familiar hymn (unfortunately not in all current hymnals) and created a moving and expressive anthem. An energetic opening segues into a contrasting middle section (reminiscent of another early American tune, HOLY MANNA) and returns to the lively accompaniment and singing.

Anthem text
Brightest and best of the stars of the morning,
dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid;
Star of the east, the horizon adoring,
guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

Cold on his cradle the dewdrops are shining,
low lies his head with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore him in slumber reclining,
Maker and Monarch and Savior of all.

Shall we then yield him, in costly devotion,
odors of Edom, and offerings divine,
gems of the mountain, and pearls of the ocean,
myrrh from the forest, and gold from the mine?

Vainly we offer each amply oblation,
vainly with gifts would his favor secure,
richer by far is the heart's adoration,
dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

Brightest and best of the stars of the morning,
dawn on our darkness and lend us thine aid;
Star of the east, the horizon adorning,
guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

Text: Reginald Heber
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