Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Winter songs?

Does anyone know of good choral setting of "In the Bleak Midwinter" that is NOT by Holst or Darke?  Preferably one that is unaccompanied, though not necessarily so.
 
Also, any suggestions for choral songs with the subject of Winter/snow/cold?   There's a huge number of Christmas songs mentioning "the cold outside" in contrast with the warmth inside, but what I'm looking for are texts dealing more with the season itself. 
on May 20, 2014 7:21am
Applauded by an audience of 2
on May 20, 2014 12:10pm
My setting of In The Bleak Mid-Winter is published by Roger Dean  --  SATB, unaccompanied.
 
Lee Kesselman
www.kesselmanpress.com
on May 20, 2014 10:21pm
Kevin:
 
You might look at The Shortest Day.  It treats the day of the Winter solstice
without mentioning Christmas.  You can look at a score and listen to the 
piece at the Composers Showcase here.  SATB unaccompanied.  It won
the Amadeus Choir's Seasonal Song-writing contest in 2011.  
 
Another song to consider is The Brown Birds.  You can look at sample
pages here at the seb site of the publisher, William Thorpe.  Unaccompanied,
under two minutes.  An earlier winner in the Amadeus Choir contest.
 
Also suitable is Gordon Thornett's Bright was the Star for chorus and
keyboard.  I wrote the poem for this one.  Not published, but you can
contact him through Choralnet.  The theme is how Christ's birth turns
Winter into Spring.
 
Cheers,
Brian Holmes
on May 21, 2014 4:22am
You might wish to check out the "Seasonal" listings in the ChoralNet Composition Showcase, which includes more than two dozen winter themed works:
http://choralnet.org/313992
 
My own SATB setting of the Walt Whitman poem To Locomotive in Winter and my TTBB setting of A Country Boy in Winter might be of interest: www.gregbartholomew.com/choralindex.htm
 
on May 21, 2014 5:06am
Abbie Betinis has an AMAZING arrangement (I think of the Holst). It uses his tune, but goes in a really beautiful direction.

Check it out here:
http://www.abbiebetinis.com/works/in_the_bleak_midwinter.html

Also, here are a few selections I did this past winter that went over VERY well:
 
The second section is all about falling snow.

The Round by Susan Kisslinger is an arrangement by me, done with her permission. I imagine she'd be delighted to see it performed again - a simple three-part round (with optional bells and improvised piano), with a 4-part quod-libet; each choral part has a single phrase to learn, which are then interleaved.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on May 21, 2014 5:54am
Morten Lauridsen has a 5-song cycle "Mid Winter Songs", settings of poetry by Robert Graves, with piano accompaniment: http://mortenlauridsen.net/works.html.
 
For SSA, Elgar's "The Snow", with piano and violin obbligato. 
 
Both of these suggestions have numerous examples of performances on YouTube.
 
Best,
Len Ratzlaff
on May 21, 2014 6:05am
I have an unpublished setting for SAB and piano of a poem entitled Winter Song, with imagery of a season so cold that there are no birds, not even birds sold in the marketplace as pets. There's no "warm inside" payoff to this poem. It's been performed several times and I'd be glad to send you a copy.
 
Jim Davis
on May 21, 2014 9:58am
You might like to look at my arrangement of Miri It Is, a medieval song. Just send me your email address if you'd like a perusal score and mp3 recording. Below are the lyrics and translation to modern English.
best wishes,
Anna Dembska
 
Miri it is while sumer ilast with fugheles song, oc nu
neheth windes blast and weder strong. ei ei what this
niht is long. and ich with wel michel wrong, soregh and
murn and fast.
 
Merry it is while summer lasts with the song of birds;
but now draws near the wind's blast and harsh weather.
Alas, Alas! How long this night is! And I, most unjustly,
sorrow and mourn and fast.
on May 21, 2014 12:29pm
Hi, Kevin, I have had some success with my SSATBB a cappella piece "Silver Night," and would be happy to show it to you. Here is my text:
 
                  Silver Night
 
O silver night, you gild the trees
With moonlight, and the fields of snow
Are shot with silver from the sky
That lights the darkened earth below.
 
On such a night, how shone the star
That lit the world so long ago,
That brought us hope and peace and joy
And turned the winter’s frost to glow.
 
And in the deep fast night we see
The gilding of eternity
In starry, distant, ardent light:
Surround us now, O silver night.
 
-- Melinda Bargreen
 
on May 21, 2014 4:04pm
My SATB a cappella setting of In the Bleak Midwinter is published by Canasg Music and other winter songs are also available there, including:
 
Cauld Blaws the Wind (text by Robert Burns)
 
 
Santa Barbara Music Press publishes a fun spoken word setting by Emma Lou Diemer of Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind
 
The seasonal lists that other people have mentioned are also recommended
 
Best wishes
 
Sheena Phillips
 
 
 
on May 22, 2014 4:22am
Dear Kevin,
 
Yes, I have one! It was performed last year by the Edinburgh Singers and by Chicago A Cappella, and it's for SATB unaccompanied (the sopranos are divisi for 2 notes).
 
Edinburgh Singers perform it on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrLNHO9_j_M (They're an all-amateur choir, and did an excellent job of it). 
 
 
I wrote it because I was sick of the Holst and the Darke - it's in 3/4 as opposed to ther 4/4, and I think it does a much better job of dealing with the irregular rhythms in Rossetti's text. And as you can hear above, it's very singable.
 
PDF (which lets you print as many copies as you want) £25/$40, or £1.50/$2.50 + P&P for single copies.
 
Please email me to order a copy ( chris(a)hutchingsmusic.co.uk ).
 
Chris
on May 22, 2014 4:33am
If your group sings a cappella, you should consider "Winter Sky" by David Lantz. Don't remember who wrote the text but it is haunting. Publisher is Hinshaw..
on May 22, 2014 5:21pm
Two of my favorites are
 
Snowflakes - words from a poem of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; music by Seth Houston
 
Land of Crystal Dreams - Erica L. Hoffman, words · Stanley M. Hoffman, music
 
  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.