Searching for Stephen Burtonwood - 3 results.
This carol can be employed by any choir but was worked particularly for those with limited resources in terms of part singers. The voicings
given are merely suggestions.
The organ part creates a slightly modernistic feel, with a purposeful avoidance of the usual dominant harmony for this beautiful melody. In the second verse, the organ dramatically represents the wicked anger of Herod the king, in his slaughter of the young boys in Bethlehem, in order to try to slay Jesus.
I hope that some of the wonder and truth of the real Christmas message is relayed through this selection of carols.
Some settings are trickier to bring off than others, such as Welcome all wonders, where word-painting rules much of the composition, and A Christmas Carol, where sensitive vocal tone and balance are required. Infant Holy is a gentle prayer-like lullaby which builds up to a climax on the words 'Christ the Babe is Lord of all', and I keep coming back to the beautiful words of the Wedderburn brothers with this setting of Balulalow.
I do hope that you enjoy singing these and that your listeners will be caught up in the essence of Christmas.
Many will be familiar with the sadly untrue story of how the organ in St Nicholas Church in Oberndorf was rendered unplayable for Christmas
1818. Joseph Mohr, the priest, asked Franz Gruber to compose a melody for words which he had written a couple of years earlier. The resulting
little masterpiece was Silent Night. It had its first performance that Christmas, with Mohr on the guitar.
The harp is the nearest orchestral equivalent to a guitar, hence its use here with the choir and soloist(s).