Compère for the evening:     Martin Bourke

Each year in the weeks leading up to Christmas, on RTE Radio 1, Ronan Collins plays the Christmas carol, “O Holy Night” sung by various singers from pop to classical. On the classical side the most popular rendition is by Jussi Björling even though it is not sung in English or the language of its composer Adolphe Adam, French, but in Jussi Björling’s own tongue Swedish. It is a powerful ringing rendition but never forced.

Jussi Björling was a remarkable musical artist for a number of reasons. He was born in 1911 but was dead before his 50th birthday and yet he had a recording career of over 40 years. He inherited a musical gene from both his parents and which he shared with his 3 brothers and passed on to his children.

Tragically, Björling lost his mother when he was 8 and 6 years later, he and his brothers were orphans following the sudden death of their father

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