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Peter Lawson
SHEPHERDS WATCH'D PEACEFULLY for SA+Men
Goodmusic GM429

Catalogue Number: GM429

ISMN: 9790222324787

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Shepherds Watch'd Peacefully image
A carol for Christmas adapted from Schubert’s Impromptu No.3, Op.90 with words by Peter Lawson arranged by Peter Lawson for choir with orchestra or piano. Orchestration: 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets in Bb, 2 Bassoons, 2 Horns in F, 2 Trumpets in Bb, 3 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani
Strings (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass)
Choir (SATB or SA+Men or SSA or TTBB)
Shepherds Watch’d Peacefully is set to the well-loved Impromptu No.3, Op.90, by Franz Schubert, originally written for piano and in the intriguing key of G flat major, but here transposed up a semitone into the more accessible G major, with the Impromptu being abridged by about a third in length. Above a rippling accompaniment in the right hand, the pianist brings out a song-like melody of great beauty, mainly with the righthand little-finger. It is to this melody which I wrote words, describing the shepherds in the fields and the Nativity scene in the humble stable in nearby Bethlehem. A more troubled middle section reflects the duress Mary and Joseph had incurred, whilst trying to find somewhere to spend the night in a crowded Bethlehem. After much searching, a kindly landlord, seeing that Mary was about to give birth, lets the anxious couple share a humble stable with cattle – at this point, the music becomes more tender in nature. The troubled motif returns, depicting the enduring journey made by the three Wise men to find their holy saviour. The music then becomes more intimate as they end their journey and kneel before the baby Jesus. The opening melody returns as the chorus of angels from heaven above can be heard serenading the tranquil scene below: Mary and Joseph and the Wise men, giving praise to God’s son, who was born in such humble circumstances, in the lowly stable. Peter Lawson
The orchestral parts are available under catalogue number GMCH019.
Duration 4½ minutes

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