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'Minor' major work for Christmas Eve

Hi All,
 
Each year, our Chancel Choir does a smaller work with instruments and soloists for our late Christmas Eve service. This year, I am looking for new ideas.
I'm shooting for a piece about the 6-10 minute mark with no more that a handful (read 4-5) instruments not counting organ.
In the past we have done "Christmas Day" by Holst, "God is With Us" by Tavener, and "Run, Ye Shepherds to the Light!" by M. Haydn.
 
Any suggestions or favorites? Thanks in advance for the help.
 
John Cook
Minister of Music and Fine Arts
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Des Moines, IA
www.westpres.org
on March 17, 2014 10:32am
Charpentier - In nativitatem Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Canticum, histoire sacrée (oratorio) for 4 voices, chorus, 2 treble instruments and continuo, H.414 (edited by Mallon, Kevin)
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 17, 2014 3:06pm
I suggest Daniel Pinkham's Christmas Cantata, which can be performed with four brass players and organ.
Nine minutes.  
 
I have written a significant amount (about an hour) of Christmas music for chorus and brass quintet.
(Also with timpani, but that can be skipped.)  These pieces are assembled in a set called
Now is the Time.  I can send a score and recording; you could choose the numbers which suit
your needs.
 
Cheers,
Brian Holmes
on March 17, 2014 6:21pm
The Pinkham is a wonderful work!  You might also consider “A Little Advent Music” Op. 4 (for Flute, Oboe, Violin, Narrator, SAB choir, Organ) by Hugo Distler as edited by Larry Palmer (Concordia).
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 18, 2014 4:16am
JAC Redford has a composition that might interest you. It is called Shepherd Story, and runs about 7 minutes.
 
on March 18, 2014 4:18am
Ref: Shepherd Story
We sang this with piano accompaniment, so don't be scared off by the full orchestral list on JAC's website.
on March 18, 2014 7:55am
I love K. Lee Scott's Christmas Cantata ("The Incarnation"), from Hinshaw.   Beautifully written and lush, it's longer than 10 minutes (6 movements), but all can stand alone or in groups.   The score gives a few instrumental options, but I can envision it with organ and wind quintet, or organ and string quartet.   I think it's very flexible - I've done it with organ and chamber orchestra, and with organ and brass choir.
 
Patrick Coyle
Minister of Music
First (Park) Congregational Church, UCC
Grand Rapids, MI
 
 
on March 18, 2014 8:13am
You might look at "Ave Rex" by William Mathias ... it may be a bit longer than you need, but one movement might be eliminated.  There's always the sweet "In Dulci Jubilo" of Dietrich Buxtehude for two violins, cello, organ and SAB choir.  Several years ago we commissioned a work from Richard Shephard of York Minster called, "Welcome All Wonders".  It's about 20 minutes, but uses just the kind of forces you envision.  Choir, baritone solo with organ, cello, oboe and violin.  It is a delicious piece ... available from St. James' Music Press in North Carolina.  Also, not specifically a Christmas work, but usable for such is Britten's wonderful, "Rejoice in the Lamb", and of course the "Ceremony", which might be used with selected movements. 
 
Thomas Clark-Jones
Organist-Choirmaster
Pine Street Church
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 18, 2014 9:50am
Vaughan Williams, Fantasia on Christmas Carols. About 10 minutes. There is a version for strings and organ, and for solo cello and organ.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 18, 2014 10:19am
Goes past the 10-min. mark, but my absolute favorite in this category is Respighi, Lauda per la nativita.  
 (Laud to the Nativity).  5 instruments, as I recall, plus choir of course.
 
on March 18, 2014 11:39am
The Respighi is wonderful, but watch out.  It's a little tricky for the singers.  Significant 4-part men's section.  And you need a fantastic lyric coloratura sopano. It's in Italian.     You need an English horn too.   But wow, is it gorgeous.   One of the most rewarding pieces we ever did.
on March 19, 2014 6:46pm
My OVERTURE TO CHRISTMAS which has recently been accepted for publication is available in pdf or printed format.
 
From the notes: This vibrant seven minute work, featuring well and lesser known carols, is ideal for a concert or service ‘finale’. It is scored for SSATB or SSAA - or both simultaneously  - and piano, with optional percussion. The piano accompaniment is of similar level to Patriquin's "J'entends le moulin", and requires a good pianist.
A two-piano accompaniment (requiring TWO good pianists!) is also available.
 
For a complete pdf sample, please contact donaldpatriquin(a)gmail.com. The SATB+SSA version of the work may be heard with combined choirs and two pianos, percussion, at donaldpatriquin.com (Catalog/ SATB Christmas). 
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