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for SSAA, solo cello, djembe, and piano This evocative anthem, from the larger work Snow Angel, is a piece of two halves. Opening with a haunting cello line, the first section ('God Will Give Orders') is mystical and ethereal, until a vibrant figure from the djembe lifts the music into the second section ('Sweet Child'), which is uplifting and bold in character, with a distinctly African feel and an effective a cappella ending.
for SATB and organ or strings John Rutter's much-loved setting of the Aaronic Blessing (Numbers 6: 24) is here included in the John Rutter Anniversary Edition, with an illuminating composer's note and useful performance hints. Also available in a version for upper voices. Conductor's scores and instrumental parts are available on sale and hire/rental.
The Midnight of your Birth is a charming collection of five carols by Bob Chilcott for upper voices and piano. Equally suited to women's choirs and youth choirs, the carols range from unison ('The Blackbird with One White Feather') to three parts, with one ('The Angel did Fly') featuring a mezzo-soprano solo. The texts, all by long-term collaborator Charles Bennett, weave an imagery of birds and the natural world with the Christmas narrative. Chilcott's music is the perfect match, combining characteristically singable melodies with pleasing harmonic colours, buoyant syncopation, and tender reflection. Containing five fresh and accessible carols, this book is the ideal addition to any upper-voice choir's library.
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 organ or piano This simple and attractive carol sets a little-known text by the Rev. Canon John Gray (1866-1934). With an accompaniment for either organ and piano and optional soprano solos, this piece is accessible to a wide range of choirs and would be an excellent addition to either a Christmas concert or service.
for SATB unaccompanied and optional flute This warm and tender carol sets an evocative text by Norman Nicholson depicting Mary's gentle nurturing of her child. There is a beautiful simplicity in Chilcott's setting, which features sumptuous harmonies, lyrical melodies, and an optional part for flute that weaves in and out of the texture. The flute part is printed in the vocal score.
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 and piano or orchestra This tender piece was composed in memory of the victims of Fukushima in 2011. It is both reflective and heartfelt, with a simple, appealing melody, rich harmonies, and a flowing accompaniment. It is a dual language publication, allowing for performance in both Japanese and English. There is a version for SSA. Orchestral material is available on hire.
for SATB (with divisions) unaccompanied This spellbinding setting of words from Act 1, Scene 1, of Hamlet depicts a bird of dawning singing all night long in celebration of the Saviour's birth, with Shakespeare's characteristically evocative imagery heightened by Chilcott's artful word-setting. The harmonies are rich and the atmosphere hushed and expectant, with asoaring soprano solo line, which may be taken by a soloist from within the choir, evoking the birdsong.
for solo voice and SATB unaccompanied A familiar piece from the 100 Carols for Choirs stable, John Rutter's sublime arrangement of the haunting Appalachian carol I wonder as I wander, collected in the 1930s by musical folklorist and singer John Jacob Niles, is lilting and evocative, setting the scene with an affecting opening verse for solo voice.
for unison voices, with optional descant, and piano This attractive piece for unison voices celebrates the wonder of the 'bright new moon'. The composer's own text, based on traditional Hebridean poems, is set to a simple, flowing melody, and the optional descant in the final section soars over the melody and introduces an echo effect. The piano accompaniment supports the vocal lines while providing additional colours and textures.
for SATB, optional congregation, and organ or brass choir Christ the Lord Is Risen Today is an arrangement of the Easter hymn tune 'Lyra Davidica'. Not to be confused with Rutter's own composition, Christ the Lord is risen again, published as part of the John Rutter Anniversary Edition. With an exciting introductory fanfare composed by Rutter, this uplifting anthem provides a powerful ending to any Easter service. Brass choir score and parts are available on sale.
for upper voices, SATB, and harp My Perfect Stranger is a captivating setting of Kevin Crossley-Holland's retelling of the Christmas story. Following an expectant prologue, the central movement is rich in characterization as soloists from within the choir take on the roles of key players in the narrative, with the upper voices adopting the role of the guiding star, as well as enriching the texture at important moments in the story. Beginning with the harp ostinato of the prologue, the epilogue asks the listener to reflect on the story we have heard, challenging us to consider the part we might have played and asking 'what have you to say and sing?'. The work's vibrant part for harp makes for a compelling alternative to the more conventional keyboard accompaniment.
for SSAA and piano This serene, reflective anthem is a rich addition to the Choral Evensong repertoire. Chilcott artfully entwines an original setting of William Fuller's 'Evening Hymn', most famously set by Henry Purcell, and the plainsong melody for the Latin hymn 'Te lucis ante terminum', in J. M. Neale's English translation. Grounded in minor tonalities, the anthem makes use of a semi-chorus of altos and sopranos for the hymn tune, juxtaposed with compelling and complementary melodies in the other parts, building to a resolute final section before a peaceful 'Amen'.
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 SAB and piano Chilcott has re-scored this serene, reflective anthem, originally for upper voices, for SAB, making it accessible to choirs with a limited number of male voices. A rich addition to the Choral Evensong repertory, the anthem presents an artful juxtaposition of an original setting of William Fuller's 'Evening Hymn', most famously set by Henry Purcell, with the plainsong melody for the Latin hymn 'Te lucis ante terminum', in J. M. Neale's English translation.
for SATB unaccompanied with hand drum Sing, my Child sets a joyful text celebrating the beauty found all around us in everyday life. Characterized by tight harmonies and a dynamic percussion line, the buoyant 7/8 metre of the opening drives the piece forward. Lush harmonies colour the hymn-like B section as the text evolves into a call for strength despite the troubles that may come. Commissioned for a mass choir of over 700 singers, this piece is well-suited for combined choir projects or as a rousing and meaningful close to a concert.
for SATB double choir and organ The King shall rejoice was commissioned by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster to mark the sixtieth anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen's coronation. Setting powerful and optimistic words from Psalm 21, Chilcott establishes a celebratory mood from the outset, with dancing 6/8 rhythms and jubilant, ringing chords. The voices soon divide into two choirs, creating a striking antiphonal effect, and the music moves through sections of slower, more sustained writing in 4/4. The second half of the work sets an adapted version of the psalm text, famously used by William Byrd-'O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth our Queen rejoice in thy strength'-before coming to a buoyant and triumphant close with the final 'amen'.
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