A Ceremony of Carols op. 28 by : Benjamin Britten
for boys' or female voices and harp (piano in extremis but with alterations and omissions)
There is also a version for SATB and harp arranged by Julius Harrison
Texts: Latin and English
1. Procession (using a variant of the Magnificat antiphon for the second Vespers of the Nativity of Our Lord)
2. Wolcum Yole! (anon.)
3. There is no rose (anon.)
4a. That yongë child (anon.)
4b. Balulalow (James; John and Robert Wedderburn)
5. As dew in Aprille (anon.)
6. This little babe (Robert Southwell)
7. Interlude (harp solo)
8. In Freezing Winter Night (Robert Southwell)
9. Spring Carol (William Cornish)
10. Deo gracias (anon.)
11. Recession (as for Procession)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Difficulty level: 3
The Ceremony of Carols is one of Britten's best-known and most-performed works. It is a brilliantly conceived and dramatic concert work which sees the voices process to their places singing unaccompanied plainsong and; at the end; processing out again to the same chant. These movements can also be accompanied but strictly only if the voices do not process. The final Alleluia can be repeated as many times as necessary to get the singers to and from their destination.
The carols are for three-part children's voices (though; of course they can be sung by female adults as well) and they form a two-part work around a central Interlude for harp which is based on the plainsong from the Procession. Variety is the key word here as all the carols have such individual identities. The forthright Wolcum Yole!; the deliciously lyrical There is no Rose; the swinging Balulalow; the fiery and dramatic This little Babe all contribute to a work which is a feast of discovery throughout. Lovely solos and duos add further colour and the harp part; an inspired choice of accompaniment; enriches; colours and surrounds the voices with its pictorial musical imagery. If anything shows Britten's genius for writing for voices it must be this work.
The challenges here are in creating a real equality between voice parts; fielding a confident pair of soloists; and making the most of the w
. . . . Sample Audio & etc. . . .
A Ceremony of Carols (performance excerpt)
|Publisher||Boosey & Hawkes|
| Format ||SSA and Harp or Piano|
| Length x Width x Height||10.5 x 6.75 x 0.179 inches |
| Shipping Weight||0.58 pounds |
|East Coast Music Product Code ||ZHL48008894|
|UPC Code||73999088946 |
| 1st Publication Date||06/2004|
Title: WOLCUM YOLE!
Title: THERE IS NO ROSE
Title: THAT YONGE CHILD
Title: AS DEW IN APRILLE
Title: THIS LITTLE BABE
Title: IN FREEZING WINTER NIGHT
Title: SPRING CAROL
Title: DEO GRACIAS
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