Christmas Hath a Darkness - Four carols for Advent (SATB)

Whittall, Matthew; Rossetti, Christina
Title: Christmas Hath a Darkness - Four carols for Advent (SATB)
Authors: Whittall, Matthew (Composer)
Rossetti, Christina (Author)
Product number: 9790550114555
Product form: Sheet music
Availability: Delivery in 3-7 days
Price: 14,10 € (12,82 € vat 0 %)

Publisher: Fennica Gehrman
Edition: 2018
Publication year: 2018
Language: English
Pages: 40
Product family: Mixed choir
Choral works
Christmas music: choral works
Finnish library classification: 78.3411 Sekakuorot
Key words: kuoromusiikki, christina rossetti, Whittall, joulumusiikki, joulu
This cycle of carols, to the poetry of Christina Rossetti, was assembled piecemeal over a number of years, gradually acquiring a larger dramatic and harmonic arch shape as new settings were added. I was particularly attracted to Rossetti’s conflation of the dark, fallow winter landscape with that of the soul waiting for salvation. The cycle traces the long nights of watchfulness before Christmas, with the great event constantly deferred, only glimpsed periodically in different visions before the music turns inward again to contemplation. The opening carol embodies this spirit, with passages of diffuse, roving harmony interspersed with meditative, lyrical pedals, calling out the night watch and dreaming of a far-off summer of the spirit. Earth Grown Old is a kind of double carol, setting two complete poems, their lines at first presented separately as a still, expectant chorale and a jubilant dance, then progressively interwoven toward a fervent climax before once again receding into quiet. In the bleak mid-winter, which sets a highly compressed version of Rossetti’s original poem, presents an enfeebled landscape frozen in time, in dire need of deliverance. A gentle melody weaves its way through static drones, broken by an angels’ chorus announcing the joy to come. Love Came Down at Christmas ends the waiting, with its gently falling, overlapping lines building to a final revelation, the mystery of Christmas at last made real. (Matthew Whittall)
Christmas Hat a Darkness -sarjan laulut on sävelletty erillisinä teoksina vuosien 2007 ja 2016 välillä. Yhdessä ne muodostavat kuitenkin suuremman kokonaisuuden, jossa draaman ja harmonian kaari toteutuu. Whittallia veti puoleensa Christina Rossettin ajatus pimeästä talvimaisemasta, jonka pitkinä iltoina sielu odottaa pelastusta. Musiikissa joulu vilahtaa vain hetkittäin, vinjetteinä, välähdyksinä, kunnes palataan jälleen sisäistyneeseen, mietiskelevään materiaaliin. Laulut voi esittää irrallisina numeroina, mutta parhaiten ne toimivat noin 16-minuuttisena sarjana.

I. This Advent Moon (2013) SSAATTBB (+ SATBar soli); 5 min.
II. Earth grown old (2016) SSAATTBB; 5 min 30 sec.
III. In the bleak mid-winter (2007); S solo+SATB (div.); 3 min.
IV. Love came down at Christmas (2016); SSAATTBB; 3 min.

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