Christmas Music

Rise Up, Shepherd, And Follow (DTrTB) MHE 40608 £3.00
Rise Up, Shepherd, And Follow is a spiritual carol, probably dating from the early 19th century. Ann and I have made an easy arrangement of it, and hope that most groups will be able to get to grips with its spirited joyfulness. Once mastered, it may be better to play it two in a bar, and speed things up a little. Playing time is about 2 minutes.

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Il Est Né, Le Divin Enfant (voice, DTrTBoptGtBoptCtB) MHE 30608a £3.00
Il Est Né, Le Divin Enfant is a traditional song from France, here in an easy arrangement. It is an ancient tune and I have given it a somewhat medieval flavour, complete with drones and rather military rhythms. The range of the voice is from the D below the stave, to the E a 9th higher. A descant recorder could be substituted for the voice. Playing time is about one-and-a-half minutes. I have also arranged this tune for recorder orchestra (MHE 30608).

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Bethlehem Down (Warlock) (DTrTBGtBCtB) MHE 11209 £3.50
The carol Bethlehem Down was composed in 1927 by Peter Warlock (1894–1930) (whose real name was Philip Heseltine). It is a beautiful piece, which won the Daily Telegraph's 1927 Christmas carol contest. The chromatic movement of the parts makes Bethlehem Down a challenging work for recorder ensembles, despite it's slow pulse.

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Away In A Manger (minimalist version) (DTrTB) MHE 41210 £3.50
Of the thousands of arrangements of Away In A Manger, this may be one of the oddest. I wrote it to test recorder groups, as many people find it difficult to play a very well-known tune where the rhythms are different from what is expected, especially at a fast tempo. That is what they are up against here. I had no intention of publishing this arrangement, but I conduct it every Christmas time, and people find it fun, interesting and - on those rare occasions when they get it right - satisfying! Playing time is about four minutes.

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Behold That Star (DTrTB) MHE 20908 £3.50
Behold That Star is a spiritual carol, probably dating from the early 19th century, in common with most spirituals. In the same way as Rise Up, Shepherd, And Follow, Ann and I have made a fairly easy arrangement of the piece, so that most groups can get to grips with it without too much difficulty. It needs to move along energetically! Playing time is about 2 minutes.

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Now May We Singen (Dunstable) (DTrTTBB) MHE 91109 £3.50
John Dunstable (1390-1453) was one of the best-known composers of his day, and influential throughout Europe. This marvellous Christmas Carol, with its very 'early' sounding harmonies, is one of the few works surviving works attributed to him. Also available for DTrTBGtBCtB (MHE 91109a)

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Now May We Singen (Dunstable) (DTrTBGtBCtB) MHE 91109a £3.50
See the previous piece (MHE 91109).

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Star In The East (SnoDTrTB) MHE 21203 £4.00
An arrangement of this ancient Christmas melody which preserves the medieval feel. Unison voices may also take part. Easy music, except for the sopranino part.

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Star In The East (Sno(orD)DTrTBGtBCtB) MHE 21203b £4.00
See the previous piece (MHE 21203). This version is for recorders only.

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God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (Sno solo, DTrTBGtBCtB) MHE 50608 £4.00
The very well-known carol given a hint of jazz. The style is calm and restrained even-quaver jazz, with a slight Latin feel. This is an interesting and different three minutes in a Christmas programme. Also available with other soloists; see the next two pieces (MHE 50608a and MHE 50608b).

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God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (clrt solo, TrTBGtBCtB(orGtB)CtB) MHE 50608a £4.00
See the previous piece (MHE 50608).

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God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (tpt solo, DTrTBGtBCtB) MHE 50608b £4.00
See the piece before the previous one (MHE 50608).

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Jingle Bells (SnoDTrTrTTBBGtBCtB) MHE 20802 £4.50
A fun arrangement of an old favourite. Other tunes keep appearing and there are some sudden changes of mood and texture. Moderately difficult, but a good "show-off" piece!

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This Have I Done For My True Love (DDTrB) MHE 60608 £5.50
The melody of this ancient song may be well-known, but Holst's choral arrangement may be less so. It is a long setting (5 minutes) and a dramatic one. For some time I have wondered how to set it for recorders, and I had plenty of time to ponder the question, as I had to wait for Holst's copyright to expire. This has now happened, and I am very pleased to be able to publish my arrangement for recorder quartet. The piece goes through many moods, which four recorders will need to work hard at capturing. But it can be done, and very successfully. This is not obvious recorder repertoire, but it works well.

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Carol Of The Bells (SnoDDTrTrTTBBGtBCtB opt percn) MHE 20608 £6.00
Carol Of The Bells is a traditional tune from the Ukraine, based on an ancient New Year's chant. It has been popular in the USA since the early 20th century, but is only gradually becoming better known this side of the pond. There is a simple but hypnotic four note figure which permeates the piece, and keeps the music driving forward. I have emphasised this element in my arrangement, and it makes for an exciting three minutes of music. The optional percussion part (one player) lends an extra oomph.

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Il Est Né, Le Divin Enfant (SnoDDTrTrTTBBGtBCtB opt percn) MHE 30608 £6.50
Il Est Né is a traditional song from France. It is an ancient tune and I have given it a somewhat medieval flavour, complete with drones and rather military rhythms. The optional percussion part (one player) would enhance the effects. Straightforward, but fun to play and listen to. Playing time is about 3 minutes. I have also arranged this tune for voice and recorder quartet (MHE 30608a).

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Christmas Twofers (DTrTTBB) MHE 20503 £7.00
Away the Angels
 
O little Town in Midwinter
 
Hark to the World
 
Three fun pieces for Christmas. Each twofer (twofer the price of one - sorry!) merges two Christmas songs in sometimes surprising ways. The first twofer is swung quavers throughout, but otherwise they are not too difficult, and very useful pieces to have around December time. See below (MHE 20503a) for a DTrTBGtBCtB version.

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Christmas Twofers (DTrTBGtBCtB) MHE 20503a £8.50
This orchestra version of MHE 20503 (see above) is a complete re-working, so great and contra players have independent parts (they needn't worry that they are merely doubling the tenors and basses!)

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A Christmas Carol (DTrTT(orGtB)BB(orCtB) + storytellers) MHE 10904 £8.00
This score, parts and accompanying script is a 'kit' for a 25 minute performance of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, complete with twelve pieces of easy incidental music for recorder sextet. The music is sometimes sad, sometimes sinister and sometimes jolly, according to the needs of the story. The text used is an abridged version in play form, involving 14 characters. This could easily be covered by six readers, or even less. Playing tenor 2 and bass 2 on great bass and contrabass respectively would be advantageous.

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On Christmas Night (DTrTrTTBGtBCtB) MHE 51206 £9.50
A medley of Christmas songs by Rosemary Robinson, some very well-known (such as Deck The Halls), and some less so (such as Merrily To Bethlehem). A pleasing and elegant arrangement, which is a welcome addition to the modest amount of Christmas music for recorder orchestra.

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Christmas Concerto (Corelli) (DDTrB solos, TrTBGtBCtB) MHE 10608 £17.00
Vivace - Grave
 
Allegro
 
Adagio - Allegro - Adagio
 
Vivace
 
Allegro
 
Pastorale
 
Corelli's 'Christmas Concerto' is an attractive proposition for recorder orchestras and their audiences. Amongst other things many people will welcome the opportunity to hear the entire 15-minute work, rather than just the ubiquitous 'Pastorale' last movement. The arrangement is quite a free one, in that music has been redistributed between instruments to avoid unidiomatic (or just plain impossible) recorder parts, or to achieve a better balance than slavish transcription of the string parts would give. There are four solo parts, but these do not always correspond exactly to Corelli's concertante group, and I would suggest that the players sit in their usual seats on the body of the orchestra. The music is not difficult to play, although the solo parts do have the odd tricky moment.

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