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01684 773883

Peter Lawson
CHORALES AT CHRISTMAS for mixed voice choir (SATB)

Catalogue Number: GM234

ISMN: 9790222307230

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Chorales at Christmas image
Chorales at Christmas is, in essence, three Chorale Preludes based on well-known carols arranged for choir and orchestra. There is a Mixed Voice Choir (SATB) Vocal Score with Piano (or organ) accompaniment [GM234] either for rehearsal purposes or for performance without orchestra and also a Mixed Voice Choir (SA+Men) version with one stave of male voices, for choirs with a shortage of men, with the male voices in the baritone range [GM235]. Either version may be performed just with piano (or organ) accompaniment. For details of the orchestral version see GMCO161.

Chorale Preludes date back to Bach and his contemporaries, probably the best known of these being Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and Wachet Auf (Sleepers Awake) - the organ weaving a melody around the chorale, which is expounded a line at a time. This methodology is carried out in all three of the Chorales at Christmas but in three different contexts.
The first Chorale Prelude is a Baroque-like melody woven around O Holy Night, Adolphe Adam's well-known carol being written a century later than the Baroque period, so it could be thought of as the musical equivalent of a barn conversion in reverse - an antiquated Baroque gloss on something from the early Romantic era.
For the second Chorale Prelude, Berlioz's Shepherds’ Farewell, from L’enfance du Christ, the prelude melody is a more of a dream-like evocation of distant bells, perhaps the musical equivalent of the scene being painted by a French impressionist.
The third Chorale Prelude, O Little Town / I Saw Three Ships, treats two old favourites together, I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In being treated as the Prelude and O Little Town of Bethlehem as the chorale. The two carols fit together with only minor adjustments and bring the whole to a rousing conclusion.

Duration 10 minutes

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