While German submarines roamed the Atlantic Ocean in 1942, Benjamin Britten composed a set of eight beautiful Carols for boys' voices and harp on a homeward journey from the US on board a Swedish freighter.
A very nice concert to get into the Christmas mood
He found the lyrics in a collection of medieval Christmas carols. The Englishman may have been inspired by the moving a cappella setting from 1933 of the Christmas story by the German composer Hugo Distlers: seven chorale variations on stanzas of the Christmas song Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen. A very nice concert by Studium Chorale to get into the Christmas mood.
Die Weihnachtsgeschichte Op 10
A Ceremony of Carols Op 28