Lyrics by Hans Christian Andersen, trans. HP Paul
Wintertime brings cold and warmth, snow and hearth, starkness and beauty, solitude and company, nostalgia and new traditions. This song celebrates the season with the sound of these contrasts: the piano begins with a few snowflakes falling and grows as the snow persists and increases, while the choir begins with a simple melody, perhaps while looking out a window in anticipation, and grows in harmony until a full picture of the season is drawn.
The text for this song is from the introduction to a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, and it sets the scene beautifully for whatever wintry story lies ahead.
It is winter-time. The earth wears a snowy garment, and looks like marble hewn out of the rock; the air is bright and clear; the wind is sharp as a well-tempered sword, and the trees stand like branches of white coral or blooming almond twigs, and here it is keen as on the lofty Alps. The night is splendid in the gleam of the Northern Lights, and in the glitter of innumerable twinkling stars. But we sit in the warm room, by the hot stove, and talk about the old times.