Sheet music and video performances of this work can be found at composer.mryantaylor.com/index.php/artsongs/2008/02/08/all-heaven-and-it-was-one-hour-old-a-chr
"This song cycle is based on the Christmas poetry of Katherine Tynan, an Irish catholic poet who at one time, early in her career, was championed by William Butler Yeats. The five lovely, thought provoking poems that were chosen from her works for this song cycle capture the spirit of Christmas with a distinctly unique voice. They are filled with the hope and passion of a true believer, but not a brash one. Tynan’s poems are thoughtful, contemplative, the works of someone who will always stop and ponder an issue rather than resort to tired cliches.
One of these poems is really quite an amazing find. The Christmas Bird, never published until now, was located in a special collection of Katherine Tynan Hinkson papers by myself. Members of my family and I transcribed the barely legible hand-written manuscript especially for use in this song cycle (it took a few days, and we had to guess at a few of the words in the end, but we think we got most of it right). Like the other poems it is filled with unique symbols that I find very attractive and moving.
I hope this music and the message of Tynan’s poetry will add to your Christmas season. Merry Christmas to you, whatever the day may be!"
~M Ryan Taylor
released 29 November 2010