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- July 3, 2011 at 12:20 pm #288849Catherine Campbell-NesbitParticipantI conduct a church choir of about 16 singers ( SATB or SAB) and every year I struggle to find a Christmas cantata that has orchestration but not of the $300 variety. As I can only hire about 5 to 6 players, I generally try to keep the cost down of the orchestrations to $150 or less. Can anyone recommend a cantata that would have less expensive orchestrations or small number of players? I do not have the budget to buy the cantatas, buy the orchestrations, pay the soloists and players for that one Sunday. The cantata is an important part of our lead up to Christmas. The church leans more toward the contemporary Christian repertoire but anything will do really if I can manage the budget for this one Sunday. We usually have about 10 rehearsals to prepare the work. Just as an FYI, I usually have available to me trumpet, trombone, English horn, oboe and flute but can hire other players such as string players also.Thanks for your suggestions!Catherine NesbitJuly 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm #288953Robert RossParticipantIf Concordia still publishes it, Hugo Distler’s *Little Advent Music* (SAB, optional soli, fl, ob, vc, kbd [hpschd or org]) sounds like it would fit the bill perfectly. I’ve used clarinet instead of oboe to good effect. *Very* sophisticated SAB writing, BTW.Bärenreiter published the original German version—I’ve never seen it, but if you’re inclined to do it in the original language, do check it out—and please let me know if you *do* find it!Hope this helps,Robert A.M. RossJuly 5, 2011 at 12:22 am #288956Clay OglesbyParticipantThis year I’m using Mark Hayes’ “Candles and Carols”. The smaller instrumental ensemble option is for trumpet, flute, and percussion and only costs $95. Last year I did Benjamin Harlan’s “Candlelight Christmas”, the chamber orchestration for it was only $60 but I don’t recall which instruments it covered. Neither are very contemporary, but Hayes uses a contmporary style to arrange some of the hymns.July 5, 2011 at 10:29 am #288996Janet BraccioParticipantDear Catherine,I recommend “The Advent Gospel,” by the American composer, Richard Toensing. This beautiful work calls for 9 instruments (flute, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, 2 trombones, glockenspiel, violin, cello, and organ) plus choir, and soloists. All the parts are playable by good college players. The work is cast in five sections: the first four set the text of Luke chapter 1; the final section, the Epilog, sets the familiar Christmas story from Luke 2. Each section ends with a chorale, all drawn from the Lutheran tradition. The complete work lasts about 45 minutes. Let me know if you have additional questions and would like to review a score.July 7, 2011 at 4:48 am #289225Griselda Sherlaw-JohnsonParticipantOUP publish a beautiful Christmas cantata by Cecilia McDowall – ‘Christus Natus Est’ http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780193358935.doall materials available on rental from CF Peters, and there’s a free promotional CD available.There’s also Bob chilcott’s brand new ‘On Christmas Night’ for choir, organ, flute, oboe, harp and one percussionist. http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780193375604.doa promotional recording of this will be available very soon from OUP too.Griselda Sherlaw-JohnsonJuly 8, 2011 at 7:50 am #289324Nathaniel LewParticipantRichard Stoehr (1874-1967), a Viennese-American composer, wrote a lovely tuneful Christmas Cantata in 1942, a setting of Longfellow’s poem “The Three Kings” that lasts 22 minutes (in two movements). It is unpublished, but I have made an arrangement (approved by the Stoehr family) for piano and trumpet. The choral parts are straightforward, with mostly homophonic writing, ranges suitable for amateur singers, only occasional divisi, and short solos for a baritone and a soprano or two from the choir. The piano part is a bit thick in places (it is a reduction of a sometimes busy orchestral texture), but the trumpet part is effective and not at all difficult. If you are interested, please contact me through ChoralNet and I can send you a pdf of the score or direct you to a recording online.
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