A cantata for soprano, tenor, and baritone soloists, SATB choir, and orchestra
In this Christmas cantata Vaughan Williams uses and a wide range of musical styles to create a compelling, vivid, and highly original retelling of the Christmas story. Composed in 1953a4, Hodie (This Day) was Vaughan Williamsas final large-scale choral-orchestral work, and was premiered under his own baton in Worcester Cathedral as part of the 1954 Three Choirs Festival. It comprises sixteen movements, including 'narrations' of words from the Bible, chorals, and a variety of
other forms for both soloists and choir. The words are taken from diverse sources, with sacred texts from the Vespers of Christmas Day and the Bible interspersed with secular texts by poets including John Milton, Thomas Hardy, and the composer's own wife Ursula Vaughan Williams.
Vaughan Williams has come to be regarded as one of the finest British composers of the 20th century. He has a particularly wide-ranging catalogue of works, including choral works, symphonies, concerti, and opera. His searching and visionary imagination, combined with a flexibility in writing for all levels of music-making, has meant that his music is as popular today as it ever has been.