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for SATB unaccompanied Images of Peace resulted from a request for a work that would encourage peace and understanding while not focussing on any particular creed or belief, and Alan Bullard approached this concept by choosing texts from a range of sources, including the English metaphysical and pastoral traditions, and the Taoist, Jewish, and Christian traditions. The set of five songs are designed as a symphonic whole, with the first and last ('Sweet Peace' and 'Bread of Peace') partly sharing the same material, book-ending three contrasting movements, a lively scherzo ('Rainbow of Peace'), an expressive slow movement ('Peace in the world'), and an elegant allegretto ('Doves of Peace').
for TTBB unaccompanied The Parting Glass is a traditional Scottish song, often sung as a farewell at the end of a get-together. Sarah Quartel's arrangement features close harmonies, idiomatic Scotch snap rhythms, and effective interjectory moments in what is a largely homophonic setting. With its valedictory message, it would make a fitting end to a performance, perhaps as an encore item.
for SATB and organ Written for the 2018 BBC Advent broadcast sung by the choir of St John's College, Cambridge, A Prayer to St John the Baptist sets an artfully crafted text that combines Guido d'Arezzo's Ut queant laxis (itself a Hymn to John the Baptist, as well as a medieval music-teaching mnemonic) with Thomas Merton's poem on the same subject. The organ's flowing quavers represent Merton's baptismal 'rivers of water', while the largely octatonic melodies conjure a tellingly mysterious atmosphere.
for SATB & piano/organ & brass/orchestra In keeping with its title, this Christmas carol is bursting with joyous energy. Taking Lowell Mason's melody, which was based on an earlier melody by Handel, Rutter adds a virtuosic accompaniment which can be played by either piano, organ, orchestra, or brass ensemble and plays a prominent role in the carol. Scores and parts for the accompaniment are available on sale or on hire/rental from Oxford University Press. This carol forms part of the Christmas collection Joy to the World.
for SSA and piano In The Three Kings Chilcott sets verses from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Christmas poem telling the story of the three kings' journey to Bethlehem. A sense of travel is created by the stately 6/8 time signature, and syncopations bring an air of excitement and wonder to the tale.
for SSAA unaccompanied Morning Light sets an optimistic text by the composer about home and finding your way. Inspired by American folksongs, the captivating melody and warm harmonies perfectly complement the uplifting theme of the text. Morning Light will be a welcome addition to the upper-voice repertoire.
for SSAA unaccompanied This lively reimagining of the traditional hymn is a thrilling a cappella arrangement which pairs the soaring legato melody with a rhythmic vocal accompaniment. Together, these elements capture both the gentle hope and the profound joy contained in the text. Also including moments of tenderness and reflection, the piece comes to a rousing close with an energy that engages singers and audience alike.
for SATB and organ Commissioned by King's College, Cambridge, for the 2016 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, This Endernight is a tender, peaceful setting of well-known fifteenth-century words. The recurring melody has an appropriately lilting feel, and Berkeley employs artful textural juxtapositions, with solo lines always opening out into a rich, full-choir sound for the 'lullay, by-by' refrain. The organ part provides colour and support for the voices, with sparkling semiquavers leading into the final, vibrant section.
for SSA and piano This playful song sets the famous 'Beautiful Soup' poem from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in a suitably tongue-in-cheek manner. With lilting rhythms, intertwining lines, and opportunities for portamento, Beautiful Soup will make an enjoyable addition to any concert programme.
for SATB (with soprano solo) and harp or organ or percussion or orchestra Written for Suzi Digby and her choir Ora, this gentle, sacred, and lyrical setting complements the well-known 15th-century text from the Sloane MS: 'A babe is born all of a may, to bring salvation unto us'. The carol may be performed with accompaniment of harp, organ, percussion, or orchestra: the vocal score carries the organ part; the harp and percussion parts are available separately for purchase; and the orchestral material is available on hire/rental.
for SATB double choir unaccompanied Lightly come or lightly go is a playful setting of James Joyce's poem of the same name for SATB double choir. The second choir carries the titular words as an arching ostinato, while choir one presents the main body of the text through characterful melodies and word painting. The two choirs portray the conflicting emotions expressed in the poem demonstrated by the closing line: "Love and laughter song-confessed When the heart is heaviest".
for violin and mixed choir This innovative and imaginative choral arrangement of The Lark Ascending has the original solo violin part accompanied by mixed choir. It sensitively sets George Meredith's poem (on which the original orchestration is based) and combines this with wordless vocal lines and vocal solos, preserving the texture and timeless effect of the original. Commissioned and premiered by the Swedish Chamber Choir, the work has also been recorded by the choir under the direction of Simon Phipps.
for unison voices, with optional second part, and piano This is the key is a dramatic, narrative piece, perfect for children's and youth choirs. It can be sung in unison throughout, or the score contains options for two parts, sometimes singing alternating phrases and at other times singing together in two-part harmony. Sections in different tempos and keys create a variety of moods, and the continuous piano part features running quavers, a rhythmic bass line, and shimmering spread chords.
for SATB (with divisions), oboe, and organ The text combines the nineteenth-century poet and Christian minister George MacDonald's emotive poem Lost and Found with the 'In paradisum' antiphon from the Burial Service in the Liber Usualis. The music is at times ethereal, melancholic, poignant, and life-affirming. The solo oboe and organ writing is integral to the emotive character of the piece, and the word-painting and angelic chorus moments encourage the listener to reflect on the subject at hand. The Quest is featured on the Collegium Records CD The Gift of Life. An orchestration for chamber ensemble (solo oboe, harp, and strings) is available on hire/rental.
for SSATB unaccompanied Commissioned by Ralph Woodward and the Fairhaven Singers in memory of Dora Kemp, one of the choir's sopranos, God is Light sets lines from Psalm 139, 1 Thessalonians, and 1 John. It moves from an unsettled tonality at the beginning, through anguished false relations and wistful expressivity, to find triumphant resolution in a blazing A major at the end. Like all of McDowall's music, it is well crafted and singable. God is Light was first performed on 12 November 2016 in Queens' College Chapel, Cambridge, by the Fairheaven Singers and Perse Prep Senior Choir (director Paul Harris), conducted by Ralph Woodward.
for SATB unaccompanied This gentle, lilting anthem sets verses from the psalms that speak of devotion to and delight in the Lord. Bednall's sophisticated and appealing musical language gives colour and expression to the text and creates a devotional atmosphere perfectly suited to the psalmists' words.
for SATB unaccompanied The Waiting Sky is a four-part unaccompanied miniature for mixed choir. 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.
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