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  • Writer's pictureFr. Scott Haynes

The Three Kings, Peter Cornelius

"The Three Kings",[1] or "Three Kings From Persian Lands Afar", is a Christmas carol by the German composer Peter Cornelius. He set "Die Könige" for a vocal soloist, accompanied by Philip Nicolai's hymn "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" ("How Brightly Shines the Morning Star").

In Cornelius' original second setting, the accompaniment was played on a piano but the English organist Ivor Atkins later arranged the accompaniment for choir, with the choir singing the words of the original hymn. The German words have been translated into English by H.N. Bate.[2] The carol describes the visit of the Biblical Magi to the Infant Jesus during the Nativity and is used as an Epiphany anthem.[3]

This very famous choral work for Epiphanytide is sung here by the Choir of King's College under the director of Stephen Cleobury.


  1. "The Three Kings". The Royal Free Music Society Archive. Retrieved 2017-01-01.

  2. ^ "Three Kings". 2015-12-03. Retrieved 2017-01-01.

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