God’s distant call
flares in the night,
so long expected, so longed for;
and all my life,
Christ called my name,
and now at last, I’ll answer Him.
Renewed, his hope,
his light in us,
our Lord appears,
his cry of changeless love.
The piece above (also found again at the bottom of this post in a different format), “Even When He Is Silent,” is a setting of a text found in a Nazi concentration camp after World War II:
I believe in the sun, even when it’s not shining. I believe in love, even when I feel it not. I believe in God, even when He is silent.
The two pieces, settings of very different texts by Arnesen, seemed to me to deserve to be juxtaposed and reflected on side by side. Christmas is an excellent time for exploring not only light, but the interplay of light and darkness.
Arnesen seems to have a particular fondness for creating Christmas music, and so I will share several more of his works in this blog post. If you have been listening to the same Christmas music over and over, year after year and day after day, this should be refreshing. Let me offer as the next piece his “Dormi, Jesu”:
Another piece that needs to be included here is his Julenatt:
Cradle Hymn is also fitting for Christmas:
You can hear more of Arnesen’s music on his SoundCloud page, his publisher (Santa Barbara Music Publishing), and on Spotify. What are some of your favorite Christmas works that don’t get as much attention as they deserve?