Sunday 16 December - This is the Record of John (Orlando Gibbons)

CD Cover

Sung by Robin Blaze and Winchester Cathedral Choir.

There's really only one piece for a countertenor to play on the third week of Advent, the Sunday at the end of which is dedicated to John the Baptist.

This is the record of John,
when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him,
Who art thou?
And he confessed and denied not, and said plainly,1
I am not the Christ.

And they asked him, What art thou then? Art thou Elias?
And he said, I am not.
Art thou the prophet?
And he answered, No.

Then said they unto him,
What art thou? that we may give an answer unto them that sent us.
What sayest thou of thyself?
And he said, I am the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,
Make straight the way of the Lord.

1 Plainly, my foot - there's a nasty run of semiquavers on the final line of this verse.