On Christmas Eve of 1818, Catholic priest Josef Mohr, showed Austrian composer Franz Xaver Gruber a six-stanza poem he had written in 1816 and he asked Gruber to set the poem to music. Because the church organ had broken down Gruber produced a melody with guitar arrangement for the poem. The two men sang 'Stille Nacht' for the first time at Christmas Mass in ‘St Nicholas Church’ while Mohr played guitar and the choir repeated the last two lines of each verse.
That's the history of one of the most famous Christmas Carols ever written. 'Stille Nacht' ('Silent Night') is translated in more than 40 languages and performed by over 300 artists all over the world! In 2011, commissioned by the ‘Royal Air Force Band’ of the Netherlands, Dutch arranger Matthias van Nispen tot Pannerden arranged ‘Silent Night’ for Voice and Wind Ensemble. In this arrangement he uses the ultimate tranquillity from Eric Satie's 'Gymnopedie' to accompany the beautiful theme.