When I was composing and arranging for this piece, I wanted to express the deep longing of humanity for hope, for heaven, for salvation. The inspiration for this centuries old hymn comes from Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” The three strikes on the low E note which open and close the piece symbolize the hammer blows nailing Jesus to the cross.
This performance was filmed live at a December Peace concert in Virginia. I was experimenting with getting some live footage up close from behind the piano instead of a distant audience view. The lighting and soft focus that resulted were unique and beautiful. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Music, my Pandora Holiday Channel, and more. Wishing you God’s blessings this Advent and Christmas season! — Stanton