Gaudete (which means “rejoice” in Latin) is a sacred Christmas carol. Research suggests that it was written in the 16th century, but some scholars believe it could be up to 200 years older. It was published in a 1582 collection of Finnish/Swedish sacred songs entitled Piae Cantiones.
In 1973 Steeleye Span reached no. 14 in the UK charts with their version of the song. Interestingly, Gaudete is amongst only a handful of a cappella performances to become hit singles (others include Only You by the Flying Pickets and Caravan of Love by the Housemartins) and it is one of only three top 50 British hits to be sung in Latin (the others were both recordings of Pie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem).
Many varying versions of Gaudete have been recorded (primarily for Christmas albums), for a range of voice and instrumental combinations including by the King’s Singers, the Mediæval Bæbes, Aled Jones and even an electronic version by Erasure. Here Gaudete is presented in a fun arrangement for bassoon quartet.
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Please note – no programme notes with this title