Festive Overture: The Joy of Christmas (reduced orchestra)


by Gordon Thornett

chamber orchestra, with optional SATB chorus
Chamber Orchestra, Chorus with Orchestra/Large Ensemble, Chorus with Orchestra/Large Ensemble
Paul Gerhardt (1607-76), translated by Catherine Winkworth (1827-78)
1(=picc ad lib).1.1.1 - 1200 - timp - perc(2): sleigh bells/SD/cyms/tgl/glsp/t.bells/xyl/tamb - (opt cel[=org]) - (SATB chorus) - strings
First Performance
21.12.2012, St George's Brandon Hill, Bristol, UK: City of Bristol Ensemble & Choir/David Ogden

Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes
'The Joy of Christmas' aims to capture the joyful anticipation and excitement of the coming festive season, whilst also highlighting its real significance. As well as using familiar carols and Christmas tunes, I have incorporated some slightly lesser known songs, such as the American version of 'O little town of Bethlehem' (played by solo violin), the French carol 'Il est né le Divin Enfant', the old English 'Wassail Song' and, towards the end, a 17th Century German carol 'All my heart this night rejoices'. To add to the feeling of anticipation, snatches of the children's song 'Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat' are heard from time to time, and observant listeners will spot the inclusion of a number of other well-known Christmas songs throughout the piece.

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