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for SATB double choir, children's choir, and piano Setting a text by Charles Bennett, The White Field presents a dreamlike scene in which blackbirds plant songs in the cold earth and await the growth of their music. Chilcott's melodies echo through the voices, before a climactic tutti central section giving full voice to the idea of renewal and hope in the depth of winter. A wistful coda completes the reverie as the blackbirds settle to await the return of the sun. The piano part provides harmonic support and rhythmic energy to the voice parts with chordal and semiquaver figurations throughout the work. The White Field was commissioned by the Barbican Centre for London Symphony Chorus and BBC Symphony Chorus for Sound Unbound, November 2015.
for CCBar and piano This is an imaginative and modern-sounding setting of John Masefield's popular poem (2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Masefield's death). This expressive piece ebbs and flows, and provides imitative textures and well-crafted narrative.
for SSAA unaccompanied Oliver Tarney has re-worked his popular unaccompanied minature The Waiting Sky for upper voices. The evocative text by Lucia Quinault depicts a rural winter scene, and is skilfully set to music by Oliver Tarney to create a lucidly reflective piece. There is a sense in both the text and the music of waiting for the 'shining star' and, while it would make a beautiful addition to a concert programme at other times of the year, the setting is perfect as a reflective carol for Advent, anticipating the wonder of the birth of Christ.
for SATB and piano Tarney's setting of this traditional Scottish text offers catchy melodies and folk-inspired harmonies, driven by a rhythmic piano accompaniment. The ballad is framed by a repeating, haunting, and ethereal a cappella phrase that hints at the unearthly nature of the subject. Also available for cambiata voices in the Emerging Voices series.
This companion volume provides organists with new, dedicated three-stave accompaniments to twenty-four of the twenty-eight choruses in the main Sacred Choruses volume. In every case, these organ transcriptions, made by John Rutter, are based directly on the original orchestral versions and will facilitate church performances without orchestra.
for SATBarBarB unaccompanied Chilcott's arrangement of the popular American folksong Shenandoah is atmospheric and expressive, with the traditional melody moving seamlessly between voice parts and resting on a cushion of rich harmonies. Shenandoah has been recorded by The King's Singers on the album GOLD (Signum, SIGCD500).
for SATB and organ or small orchestra In this setting of haunting simplicity, Rutter employs rich orchestral colours and a beautiful, imploring melody. The composer has taken the opportunity of this anniversary edition to recast the original accompaniment for organ, to facilitate performance in church. Conductor's scores and instrumental parts are available on sale and on hire/rental.
for SATB with optional piano Inspired by the simple directness of William Chatterton Dix's vivid, pictorial text, the composer explores the breadth of the choral canvas in this expressive and artful carol. The piece has a straightforward verse-chorus structure, with gentle development of the verse material and an effective motif to close each verse, making it accessible to and rewarding for choirs of all abilities. Also available in a version for upper voices.
for SATB and piano or piano four-hands or orchestra Wilberg's arrangement of the Christmas favourite Deck the hall is bright and energetic from beginning to end. After an uplifting introduction going through several keys, the choir sings the three carol verses in up to seven parts. The accompaniment provides both a harmonic underpinning and almost continuous flourishing semiquaver movement. Further modulations throughout the piece lead to an extended 'fa la la' section to bring the piece to an exhilarating close.
for SATB double choir and piano or small ensemble Another winning collaboration between Bob Chilcott and author Charles Bennett, this work was commissioned by Age UK Oxfordshire as part of a project to highlight and combat loneliness. The singers assume the role of narrator, guiding the listener on a journey made by boat, with nine choral songs presenting their own stories within this larger excursion. The outer movements provide a watery framework with rippling figures and gentle choral waves. An air of nostalgia pervades 'My father's boat' and 'What we did on our holiday', while the central songs use naval and meteorological imagery to speak of some of life's difficulties. Soliloquies between the choral songs highlight a variety of solo instruments, but these may be omitted if performing with piano.
for SSATBB unaccompanied Skilfully set to the tender words of the poet E. E. Cummings, 'I carry your heart' is an unaccompanied secular work originally for men's voices, but rescored by the composer in this version for women and men. The piece was commissioned by the acclaimed close-harmony group, The King's Men, and was recorded on their album Love from King's.
for children's choir and piano Written for Children's International Voices, this delightfully uplifting piece will appeal to children's choirs everywhere. A highly singable melody alternates between unison and two parts, and the words, written by the composer, are full of excited optimism for the future. Rutter skilfully combines a flowing character with a strong rhythmic pulse, and the piano accompaniment provides harmonic support throughout.
for SATB, violin, and piano A Prophecy of Dawn is an artfully crafted setting of a beautifully descriptive poem by Matthew Meiklejohn, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in the Second Boer War. The piece is rich in contrasting material, some of which recapitulates, and many of the text's images are apparent in the music, for example lively birdsong in the violin and a radiant shift into a major key at the poet's first mention of dawn. The violin part contributes much to the setting, and is permitted moments of virtuosity amidst the energetic piano writing and expansive choral textures.
for SATB (with divisions) and organ This joyous, upbeat anthem sets a compelling poem by contemporary poet Sean Street in response to a text by sixteenth-century Bishop of Norwich John Parkhurst on the subject of 'alma mater'. The text encourages us to appreciate the past, our education, and where it can lead, reflecting on the profound ties we can form to a time or a place. The bright, driving organ part, with solo interjections, is juxtaposed with sustained vocal writing with rich, lush harmonies.
for SSATB unaccompanied An atmospheric and expressive setting of Caliban's dream from Shakespeare's The Tempest, this piece transports the listener to a mysterious, dream-like place. McDowall effectively employs melismas and ornaments to create a sense of the other-worldly, and her rich, immersive harmonies perfectly characterise the reverie Shakespeare's protagonist describes.
for SATTBB unaccompanied With a text by the composer, this secular carol is a true celebration of all that we love about the festive season. Owain Park's arrangement presents a new take on this Christmas classic, drawing on Rutter's evocative orchestral colours to create this characterful and heart-warming arrangement for a cappella voices. This arrangement of The Very Best Time of Year has been recorded by The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, conducted by Stephen Layton, on the album Yulefest! (Hyperion, CDA68087).
for SATB (with divisions) unaccompanied This serene communion motet sets the last two verses of the Pangue Lingua and oscillates between 3/4 and 4/4 time signatures. The melodic lines are expressive and at times melismatic and the divisi in all parts creates a rich texture.
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