6th December 2015. Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerset.
Dedicated to Lisa Piper. Written for Nigel Edwards and the Parnham Voices.
Duration: c. 3′
Text: Anon., ca. 1883, Philadelphia
Music: melody J. Kirkpatrick, 1838-1921;
arranged by Mark Hewitt 2014
Programme note by the composer:
I have to confess I have taken some liberties with this iconic Christmas melody.
I hope my setting still captures some of the innocence and quietude of the original.
In contrast, the third verse becomes a more elaborate, polyphonic texture.
Score format = A4
File type = pdf file
No. of pages = 8
Licence to print up to 20 copies £18.00
Licence to print up to 21 + copies £25.00
Dedicated to Laura Wright, with affection, on the occasion of her 50th birthday
Composed: August 2015
Duration: c. 6′
Text: Joseph Mohr, 1792-1848; trans. by John F. Young, 1820-1885 (v. 1, 2, 3) and anon. (v. 4)
‘Silent Night’ is an iconic Christmas melody, known to millions as a simple lullaby. However, the imagery of the text has prompted from me a more elaborate musical setting. My response is akin to those Renaissance paintings of the Nativity which do not portray the holy family as poor people in humble surroundings but rather as royal, rich in colour and opulent in manner. I have sought to capture a sense of calm but also of radiance, the music ringing out the joy of Christ’s birth. The original melody by Franz Gruber is not present throughout the piece but is hinted at in verses 1, 2 and then emerges complete in the third and fourth verses.
Crewkerne, Somerset, August 2015
Sheet music available here:
Recorded on the Prima Facie label on the album ‘The Silver Stars At Play’, Kantos conducted by Elspeth Slorach