Christmas: various topics (LARGE)
CHRISTMAS MUSIC IDEAS
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 1997 23:52:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject: An Early Note on Christmas Carol Books
Dear List members: Before Christmas, James Langdell asked for
recommendations of Christmas carol books -- no SATB arrangements, just the
usual straightforward 4-part harmony, able to be handed out for caroling on
the spot or around the town. In private correspondence with him, I found
that he only got responses about carol arrangements. Therefore, In plenty of
time for Christmas '97, here is information on 4 carol books currently
available, just like the ones they used to hand out at the local bank!
Except these are, thank goodness, printed in *black* ink! James felt that
this was the information he was looking for and that others might be
interested as well.
I'll mention the publishers, but all should be available from Malecki Music,
who located and sent them to me in single copies. (I also asked a certain
large supplier in Pennsylvania, but they were totally UNhelpful, telling me
that they could find nothing like this. In all fairness, they usually do
much better than that.)
The best (IMHO) is the most expensive (of course): Carols of Christmas (Music
Edition), $3.75, Augsburg. 40 carols, all the usual plus such things as "O
Holy Night," "The Birthday of a King," "Fum, Fum, Fum," and the like-- not
exactly everyday carols, but still things that groups might like to sing at a
gathering, if not while going from house to house. Heavier cover. A
wordsheet edition is also available (price unknown to me), but not all the
stanzas of every piece are included on that.
Here We Come A-Caroling, $1.50, Word Music (# 3010046367). 30 carols, all
the usual, notation fairly easy to read. The cover is plain paper like the
rest of the book, not more sturdy. Generally 1 carol per page. Quite useful.
Let's Go Caroling!, $ .75, Lillenas (#MC-219). 20 carols, the usual.
Slightly smaller format, and notation, than the 2 above, generally 3 carols
per 2 pages. Smallest format of the group. Some of the words get a little
small. But then the price is small, too. Heavier cover.
Carols and Hymns for Christmas, $ .54, Augsburg. 15 carols, the usual sacred
ones but lacks such things as "Deck the Halls," "Jingle Bells," and even
"Good Christian Men Rejoice." Generally 1 carol per page, and quite legible,
in fact the most legible of the group.
The Bay Area Lutheran Chorale performed the Charpentier
Messe de Minuit last year, and interpolated arrangements of
the carols on which the mass is based in between the
corresponding movements. For example, after the first Kyrie
we sang "Joseph est bien marie"; after the Christe we sang
"Or, nous dites, Marie," and so on. It is likely that
Charpentier had that very performance idea in mind, based on
some comments in the score, and some historical tradition of
the period. I did the arrangements myself, using the same
instrumentation. By the way, stay away from the Concordia
edition of the Charpentier. There is an Arista edition which
is much more reliable, but you must add your own notes
On the same program we did a grand-motet by Michel-Richand
de Lalande, one of the finest composers of the Baroque.
Beware: Novello (the publisher of the Lalande) thinks it
owns the copyright and charges an arm and a leg to rent the
orchestral parts -- they even think you need permission to
perform the work! The copyright implications of editions
were discussed a month or two ago on the Choralist.
We also performed "Noe, psallite noe" by Jean Mouton and a
motet by Guillaume Bouzignac (fl. 1610-1640). The former
was from Mouton's collected works, and the latter from
"Anthologie du motet latin polyphonique en France (1609-
1661)," ed. D. Launay, both of which are public domain.
>> I seem to recall that Holst did some nice Christmas
pieces for women's
>> voices, but I can't recall the collection's name. Can
someone else on the
>> list? I'll look it up when I get to the office. I do
remember that one
>of the pieces was "Wolcome Yule (Sp?)
Holst wrote I believe two works with the same title: "2
Carols." One of them, for women's voices and solo oboe, has
the words (as far as I can make out from Imogen Holst's
recording) "Pro pace, welcome, welcome," sung as a kind of
ground as other voices weave around it. It is beautiful
enough to make you weep.
Subject: Re: There is no rose
> Is anybody out there familiar with a medieval carol for
two voices called
> "There is no rose"? I have the music and I have the
words, but I am looking
> for ways to vary the repetitions of the burden, which goes
This is one of my favorites, both to sing and to play. The
three part burden is especially effective in a hard
acoustic, and is well accompanied by recorders, either high
I would limit choral treatment to a small sensitive group,
the last phrase of the burden delicately suggests hocketing
in its intricate rhythms, and would be spoiled with a clumsy
You say you have music, but since you dont mention the 3vv
burden, I will cite you the following:
Musica Britanica v4 "Medieval Carols". The volume itself
it expensive ($50 us in 1975, probably 80 now), but serious
music libraries will have it.
The only quibble I would have with it lies in the repetion
of the burdens words in the first verse, Most groups I have
sung with have elected to omit one or the other (ie, b, v2,
b... or v1, v2, b,v3,b... but never b, v1, b, v2 ...)
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 1994 21:55:59 -0600
From: SweeHong Lim
Subject: Re: SSA/SSAA Christmas Music
i am no expert in Christmas music in the western hemisphere
but i do know quite abit about asian christmas music - if
you are interested. You might like to know that Indonesia,
Philippines, etc. do have their own carols and other
Christmas oriented hymns - there is presently one collection
that is fairly extensive in this area but unfortunately not
in wide circulation.
Write to Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music
P.O. Box 3167
(sorry to email facilities but you could fax them at
(632) 722 1490
Request to buy a copy of the Sound the Bamboo Hymnal. Once
you get a copy, you can either sing it as written (4 parts)
or you could get someone to rearrange it. i assure you, it
will be a helpful resource if you are interested in exotic
Asian hymns never heard before in the US - that is the
source for it.
if you need more info, just let me know.
Date: Tue, 7 Jun 1994 11:09:17 -0600
From: Gibbons Henry
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Re: Repertoire for Christmas Finale
On Mon, 6 Jun 1994, Richard Clark wrote:
> I'm looking for a snazzy, opulent, pull-out-the-stops closer for a
> christmas (can I still say that) season concert, 5-20 minutes.
Consider Randol Alan Bass's *A Feast of Carols*, published by Plymouth.
For large choir and orchestra, in the Robert Russell Bennett tradition,
luscious and colorful orchestration of not your ususual tunes. The
rental score comes with a lot of cuts marked, but we did almost the whole
thing, and the audience loved it.
Associate Professor of Music
College of Music, Univ. of North Texas
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 20:50:49 -0600
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Christmas finale piece
On June 6 Richard Clark wrote
"I'm looking for a snazzy, opulent, pull-out-the-stops closer for a christmas (can I still say
that) season concert, 5-20 minutes.
May I suggest Conrad Susa's A Christmas Garland which requires large brass group
(excellent players), percussion, has audience sing-a-long of familiar carols, and if I
remember correctly, was commissioned by Maurice Casey. Not sure of publisher. It was
highly successful when I did the work three years ago.
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 1994 08:40:22 -0600
From: Gibbons Henry
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Re: Looking for...
On Tue, 21 Jun 1994 WahooFive@aol.com wrote:
> Fellow musicians:
> I'm looking for a work I vaguely remember singing in college. It's called
> "Uns ist ein Kind geboren," by (I believe) Heinz Werner Zimmermann, for
> chorus and double bass, jazzy. If someone knows this piece, please send
> publisher and octavo number by direct e-mail. Also correct the composer's
> name if I got it wrong.
The title of the work as published by Baerenreiter is "Weihnachtslied -
Uns ist ein Kind geboren." BA 4348. Text is German only; I don't know
if there is an English version. This is NOT the same piece as the first
of "Two Contemporary Motets" (This Day a Child is Born) published by
Chantry Music Press.
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 1994 10:25:55
From: Tom Cunningham <email@example.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Zimmermann's Christmas song
Allen H Simon was asking about this piece.
In Baerenreiter's catalog, "Uns ist ein Kind geboren" appears twice.
It is number 2 of Sechs neue Lieder (Six new Songs) where the the scoring
appears to be 3-5 mixed voices, organ with cello or double bass in some numbers.
BA 5418 for the set.
It also appears as Weihnachtslied "Uns ist ein Kind geboren" for woman's voice
(or child's voice), mixed choir SSATB, vibraphone, harpsichord and double
bass; percussion (1 player) ad. lib. BA 4348.
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 1994 13:34:13
From: David Wayne Anderson
Subject: Re: [a] request for madrigal holiday/christmas rep;
RE: madrigal holiday/christmas rep
Just off the top of my head, without going to the files I can think of
some nice things published by earthsongs out of Corvallis, OR. (Ron Jeffers)
Three Latvian Carols by Andrejs Jansons (Set I- SATB-unaccomp)
Three Latvian Carols (Set II - SATBB - one is w/piano)
Noels Anciens (three pieces) arr. Donald Patriquin
Venez, mes enfants
Quelle est cette odeur agreable?
Tous les Bourgeois de Chatres
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 1994 20:21:35
From: Jon Hurty
Subject: choral music with oboe, bassoon, and clarinet
Anders Ohrwall, a well-known Swedish composer, has a piece called "Gaudete"
which is settings from the Piae Cantiones with accompaniment for three wind
instruments. The settings are mostly strophic and homophonic, and
includes short Sinfonia for thew winds. The winds are also used in a
variety of colorful ways in the choral arrangements. The original
instrumentation was for two flutes and one bassoon, but Ohrwall indicates
in the preface that performers have the freedom to substitute whatever
instruments one might choose.
The piece is a collection of ten shorter pieces arranged into a "Christmas
story," but it might be possible to use some of the arrangements at other
times of the year. The Piae Cantiones was first published in 1582, but the
arrangments are mostly in a 20th century tonal style.
This is a very nice work and I would recommend it highly. Good luck with
Walton Music Corp WSK-100
instrumental parts are available from the publisher for sale.
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 1994 14:49:11
From: David Wayne Anderson
Subject: Re: Christmas Season Medley
We have been preparing for the Christmas season and have a touring
program with the Chamber Singers and Flute Choir. In our investigations,
we have found little literature for this combination, since we wanted to
have at least two works together. I have adapted a G. Gabrieli double
choir work for flutes and voices. The flute parts include 1st, 2nd, 3rd
flutes, alto flute and bass flute (alto doubling the bass flute). The
vocal parts are SATB. We have adapted a Christmas text from Luke 2 and
have titled this "Glory to God" using the words of the shepherds for the
If you are interested in looking at this work, let me know and
arrangements can be made. Also, if you know of any works for flute
ensemble and voices I would like to learn of them. There are so many
works for brass and voices, but we have found how nice flutes and voices
are together, especially a chamber group.
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 1994 07:01:58
From: "Donna Dennis"
Subject: good seasonal pieces
I highly recommend Herzogenberg's The Birth of Christ, an 80
minute oratorio for solo quartet, SATB chorus, strings, oboe, and
organ/harmonium. Rather meditative but absolutely beautiful, and not
difficult, and it can work with one string on a part. Much of it is
based on familiar carols, including Joseph Dearest, In Dulci Jubilo
Lo How a Rose, etc. Uses children's choir (I'm doing without).
It's published by Carus and available through Mark Foster. In
German only--I've translated about 50 minutes of it into English with
Foster/Carus permission, and it's moderately successful (it works
very well but this isn't my forte!).
I'm happy to share more information, details, over direct e-mail
or through snail mail, including copies of my English translation.
(Cannot send score without publisher approval, of course). Oh yes,
Mark Foster sells a CD, very beatufiully sung, in German, tho' a bit
slow at times for my taste!
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 1995 17:27:28 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jeffrey Bernstein
Subject: Re: Christmas Choral/Orch work
Re: your request for rep. ideas. Have you looked at the Bruckner
Mass in e-minor? It is double chorus and winds only! And
sensually beautiful, I might add, esp. the Kyrie and Sanctus.
Admittedly not very "Christmas" but also not done very often.
Just a thought. Certainly worth a look.
Date: Mon, 2 Sep 1996 23:58:21 -0500
From: Waldy Ens
Subject: xmas cantata compilation
Thank You to all of you who responded to my request for a Christmas Cantata
I could do with my high school choir. What follows is a compilation of the
suggestios I got.
Last year my church choir performed Michael Haydn's "Run, Ye Shepherds,
To the Light" for SATB chorus, sop solo, keyboard or string trio (2
violin and one 'cello part. It is short with two choral movements, a sop
solo recit and aria. Not too difficult, but quite lovely. It was a great
way to introduce my choir to singing classical rep slightly longer than
the standard anthem.
Coronet publishes it. They are distributed by Theodore Presser, Bryn
Mawr, Penn, 19010. The edition nu. is 392-41184.
If you're not glued to Classical, how about one of the short Buxtehude
Xmas cantatas, Das neugeborne Kindelein (the infant Jesus) or Rejoice,
Try Jesu, Meine Freude - Buxtehude. Belwin Mills K 6130 (Kalmus) also
published in beautiful edition by Wittenburg Press, Wittenburg College. SAB
with strings, bass and sop. soloists.
I don't have the scores at my finertips, but look for cantatas by
Buxtehude. He wrote several pieces for SAB choir,
"Song of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ" by Chapentier, published by
Concordia for SSAATB and two violins, and continuo.
It is a great piece.
Daniel Pinkham: Christmas Cantata - King Music (Theodore Presser) I hope this
helps you in your quest.
Have you looked at some of the Charpentier stuff (his Midnight Mass for
It is not Bach, but it is attributed to him. Cantata 141 To us a Child is
Born (Uns ist ein Kind geboren). Actually it is by Khunau. Mark Foster
publishes it with a nice English translation. I performed it with my high
school kids several years ago. It is not difficult, but still requires some
work. Students have been asking to repeat it every year since we did it. I
haven't repeated it, but probably will when I have an entirely new group.
Margaret Bonds, "The ballad of the brown king," libretto by Langston Hughes,
published by Plymouth Music, on the tradition that one of the wise men was
African. It was written for average church choir abilities, with lots of
homophonic stuff, and great tearaway piano parts that make it sound harder
than it is. There's one movement for women's voices, "O, sing for the king
who is tall and brown," which is a show-stopper--it has just been reprinted
as a separate ocatvo, and my ladies are goint to sing it this December.
Wonderful jazzy and Carribbean rhythms. Take a look.
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 20:19:44 -0500
From: Glenn Priest
Subject: Christmas Medleys with Orchestra
Several weeks ago I sent an urgent request regarding a sacred Christmas
medley with orchestration that could be sung with an audience. Here are
the results from all who responded:
- A Christmas Garland by Sousa GC Schirmer # 4365
- Three Carols of Christmas arr. John Richmond
Brass and Percussion
O come, O come, What Child is This, Good Christmen Men
- Two English Carols arr. Calvin Langejans
Coventry Carol, Once in Royal David's City
- The Christmas Story arr. Roger Wagner, Lawson Gould
- Many Moods, Shaw/Bennett
- Carol Medleys by Randy Bass
- Carol Medley Word Music #301-0307
- Cradle the King with Praise Camp Kirkland
Contains a medley in the musical
- Carol Medley Prism Music $ 39.95
Hark the Herald, Away in the Manger, O Come all ye
Faithful, Silent Night, Joy to the world
- Festival of Carols Prism Music $39.95
Hark the Herald, The First Noel, Good Christian Men, Go
Tell It, O come all ye.
- A Christmas Festival Bob Krogstad
- Silent Night/O Holy Night Craig Courtney
- A Christmas Choral Fantasy Craig Courtney
- Oratorio de Noel Camille Saint-Saens
- Oxford Carols Sir David Wilcox
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 1997 23:20:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Compilation of SATB choral "dances" with percussion
Thanks to all for help in compiling this lists of Xmas "Dances" for SATB,
percussion and accompaniment. To save space, I did not credit all of the
contributors. If this is a breach of netiquette, let me know and I will
A Day for Dancing (winds and percussion)
Lloyd Pfautsch (?)
African Noel (wood block and bongos)
Ronald Kauffmann (Elkan-Vogel 362-03288)
Betelehemu (congas, bongos, shaker, claves, etc.)
Wendell Whalum (Lawson Gould)
Carols and Lullabies (marimba, vibes, harp, guitar)
Carols to play and Sing (bells, organ, percussion) Alice Parker
1. In Bethlehem (2779 - Boosey?)
2. I saw a stable (2780)
3. Shrill Chanticleer (2781)
Estampie Natalie (strings and percussion)
Five Spanish Carols (percussion)
arr. Gregory Rose (Oxford, X311)
Hodie (keyboard and percussion)
Missa Criolla (piano, guitar, percussion)
Patapan (flute, snare drum)
arr. Batastini (GIA)
Pesonet Hodie (two flutes and drum)
David MacIntyre (Thomas House Publications?)
Three Medieval Carols (?)
John Mochnik (Mark Foster)
Three Christmas Villancicos (harp/piano and percussion)
Ben Alaway (Santa Barbara Music)
To Bethlehem (keyboard and percussion)
WH Parry (OUP)
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day (piano and perc)
Malcolm V. Edwards (GV Thompson VA-4019)
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day (tamb and snare)
John Gardner (OUP)
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day (percussion)
John Rutter (?)
Where were you born, O holy child? (optional percussion)
Arnold Freed (Boosey and Hawkes 5620)
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 1997 10:52:26 -0600
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Rodde)
Subject: Christmas sing-a-long responses
Thanks to all who responded regarding the Christmas choral/orchestral
sing-a-long. The following ideas were suggested:
1. Bennett/Shaw - Many Moods of Christmas (G. Sch.)
2. Rutter and Willcocks - selections from their many carol arrangements
3. Raymond Gotko - Christmas Celebration (may be unpublished, can't locate)
4. Craig Bohmler - Joy to all the World (SBMP 99)
5. Michael Braz - A Suite of Carols (email@example.com.GaSoU.EDU)
6. Leroy Anderson - A Christmas Festival (Mills Music)
7. Musica Russica has a new set of Ukrainian Christmas carols
coming out in a couple of weeks (in addition to the ones they already
Univ of North Dakota
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 1997 23:01:09 -0400
From: "Piercy, Noel"
Subject: Christmas Eve Barnburner Compilation
Here are the responses I received to a post requesting Christmas Eve
Holst -- Christmas Day
Vaughan Williams -- Fantasia on Christmas Carols
Handel -- And the Glory of the Lord (Messiah)
Charpentier -- Messe de Minuit
Gilbert Martin -- Good Christians All Rejoice
Goemanne -- Sing We Noel
Rutter -- The Holly & the Ivy
Hermann Schroeder -- Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head; and several other
John Leavitt -- O Little Town of Bethlehem (Forest Green), cantata
(easy) of 5-6 movements
Ed Childs -- O Little Town (Forest Green)
Three carols (of barnburner arrangements) called "A Christmas Triptych"
by Richard Proulx, GIA -- also available separately.
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 10:53:33 -0000
From: "Stefan J. Reid"
Subject: Christmas Music
Many thanks for all your suggestions for Christmas music for strings,
choir and organ. I shall cogitate on these over the coming weeks. For
anyone else interested, here are the results:
Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio 5 solos, SATB, Str/org/harp
Britten St. Nicholas T solo, SATB Str/pno/perc
Shaw/Bennett Many Moods of Christmas Suites
Haydn St. Nicholas Mass 4 solos, SATB ww/str/org
Holst On Christmas Day=09
Randell Bass Christmas Flourish
Buxtehude Cantata 'Das Neugebourne Kindelein'
Gawthrop Cantata 'This Child, This King' SATB, org/hrp/timp solos.
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 05:00:38 -0500
From: Tom Cunningham
Subject: Christmas pieces for symphony chorus - compilation
I asked what are your favorite 20-40 minute pieces for a Christmas concert
for large chorus and symphony orchestra. Thanks as always to the many
choralisters who replied, particularly regarding the two unpublished
pieces, for which I've given contacts. Here is a compilation plus a few
ideas of my own at the end.
There are four fine sets of carols arr by Robert Shaw and Alice Parker
(orchestrated by Bennett) for large orchestra and large
chorus. They are called "The Many Moods of Christmas" I, II, III, and IV.
Each is a separate work. I think the orchestra parts must be
rented. They are crowd pleasers. I think they are published by Lawson
The Dallas Symphony and Chorus commisioned a new Christmas arrangement for
our last (1997) concert series. The piece is titled "A Symphony of Carols"
arranged by Randol Alan Bass. It definitely worth looking into. The
arrangement is very moving and the audience really loved it. I'm not too
sure on the timing but it is at least 20 minutes.
Lance L. Treadway work: firstname.lastname@example.org home: email@example.com
or the composer: RANDOL BASS Dallas, TX Randolb@aol.com
Bach or Rutter Magnificat
Though I often find myself in a minority, I'm particularly fond of
Honneger's Christmas Cantata. Although it starts off quite somber, the
tapestry of carols near the end is sublime.
My Favorite has always been any of the Bach Christmas Oratorios. (The most
favorite being Number 5, but also the most difficult).
Vaughan Williams Hodie is a little longer than you requested, 55 minutes or
Honegger Une Cantate de Noel is 23 minutes, not very exciting to me.
Britten A Boy is Born? Don't know it.
Hi, If you are looking for something a little bit out of the mainstream,
you might look at Respighi's " Laud to the Nativity".
Any setting of the Magnificat would be appropriate. The settings by
Vivaldi, Pergolesi, and Bach should fit your time-frame. The first two use
strings only. The Bach orchestra calls for trumpets, timpani, and flutes
"In Terra Pax" by Finzi small orchestra tho
"Laude to the Nativity" by Respighi with winds, piano and percussion
"St Nicholas" by Britten gets the children's chorus into the act
"Christmas Oratorio" by Bach (J.S.) any one of them tho the orchestra is
John Rutter's "Magnificat" is a wonderful piece for choir and orchestra.
There are 2 orchestrations available, full and chamber. It runs about 40
How about Rudolf Wimmer