Christmas Traditional

Unto Us Is Born A Son (Puer nobis nascitur; Piae Cantiones, 1582)

    Description by Robert Cummings

    The Piae Cantiones was a book of 74 Latin hymns originating in the mid- to late-medieval times. The contents were assembled by Swedish Lutheran cleric Jaakko Suomalainen and published in Sweden through the efforts of T.P. Rutha, a Finnish Catholic student. Unto Us Is Born a Son first appeared in a fourteenth century manuscript from Germany, making it 200 or more years old when it was first published. Its text speaks of the birth of Christ and of his mission on Earth. The melody is glorious in its triumphant character and ecstatic devotional sense. In its first phrase, it more than vaguely resembles the opening notes to the much more modern and popular Christian hymn O God, Our Help in Ages Past. It may, in fact, be a thematic ancestor to the melody in that hymn, since the contours of both themes are quite similar as well. In any event, Unto Us Is Born a Son is a radiant hymn of strong appeal, brighter and more colorful than most of the chants emerging from and before the fourteenth century.

    Appears On

    Year Title / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    2019
    King's College Choir
    KGS 0036
    2018
    King's College Choir
    KGS 0033
    2018
    King's College Choir
    KGS 0033D
    2018
    Revels Records
    REVCD 2018
    2017
    Delphian
    DCD 34192
    2017
    Decca
    6704753
    2016
    Various Artists
    Decca
    4784448
    2016
    Naxos
    8578340
    2015
    OUR Recordings
    6220615
    2015
    Decca
    4788918
    2015
    Coro
    COR 16136
    2014
    Sony Classical
    88875037702
    2013
    PentaTone Classics
    PTC 5186198
    2012
    Atoll
    ACD 342
    2012
    Classic FM
    28948069965
    2012
    Various Artists
    ABC Classics
    ABC 4810033
    2011
    Decca
    2010
    Music Digital
    MDD 2007
    2010
    Decca
    2010
    Various Artists
    Document
    224065
    2009
    EMI Classical / EMI Classics
    686082
    2009
    CRD Records
    CRD 5001
    2008
    Legacy / Play 24-7
    PLAYX02
    2008
    Various Artists
    Echo Bridge Home Entertainment / Platinum Disc
    4083
    2008
    Martingale
    700702
    2007
    Music Club International Records / Music Club Records
    MCCDX 042
    2007
    Kings Road
    61
    2007
    Signum UK
    108
    2006
    Crimson Productions
    284
    2005
    Blumountain Records
    907332
    2005
    Sain
    2317
    2005
    Philips / Universal
    4756398
    2005
    EMI
    3380822
    2005
    EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics
    2005
    Decca
    4756655
    2005
    London/Decca
    005302
    2005
    EMI Music Distribution
    66923
    2004
    BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) / Brentwood Records
    40558
    2004
    Gothic Records
    49235
    2003
    Various Artists
    Naxos
    8557160
    2003
    Gothic Records
    49131
    2002
    Avalon Records
    24407
    2002
    Various Artists
    Priory Records
    4000
    2002
    Decca
    4736282
    2002
    Various Artists
    BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) / Brentwood Records
    258
    2002
    Koch / Chandos
    6670
    2002
    Direct Source
    19592
    2001
    BCI Music (Brentwood Communication)
    62581
    2001
    Platinum Disc / Platinum Entertainment
    311
    2001
    BCI Music (Brentwood Communication)
    60356
    2001
    Guild
    GMCD 7226
    2001
    Priory Records
    706
    2001
    Fine Tune
    3362
    2000
    Fine Tune
    3321
    2000
    Platinum Entertainment
    1469
    2000
    Tring
    083
    1999
    Platinum Disc / Platinum Entertainment
    12702
    1999
    Priory Records
    PRCD-604
    1999
    Priory Records
    604
    1999
    Echo Bridge Home Entertainment / Platinum Disc
    10922
    1999
    Afka / Afka
    547
    1998
    Intersound
    2856
    1998
    Somm
    211
    1998
    Virgin
    8747462
    1997
    Various Artists
    BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) / BCI Music
    243
    1997
    BCI Music / BCI Music (Brentwood Communication)
    2433
    1995
    Conifer Classics / Conifer
    75605517542
    1995
    BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) / Brentwood Records
    62582
    1995
    Tall Poppies
    16
    1995
    London / PolyGram
    444848
    1995
    Decca / London / PolyGram
    4448482
    1994
    Naxos
    8550589
    1994
    Priory Records
    405
    1993
    Herald Records
    HAVPCD 143
    1990
    Philips / Philips
    420180
    1990
    Decca
    4300892
    Evosound
    70
    Regent
    124
    GHF Music
    Conifer
    15907
    Marks & Spencer
    2203
    Chandos
    CHAN-8485
    Platinum Disc
    12702
    ABC Classics
    4801489
    MUF
    001
    Bayard Musique
    9630932
    Music Inc.
    1003
    Herald Records
    143
    Boston Skyline
    BSD 124
    ABC Classics
    4763682