Song of the Angels

(2015)

by Alexander L'Estrange

Description
carol for SATB choir & optional organ, with SAT semi-chorus
Duration
4
Genres
Mixed Voices
Text
George Wither & Anon
Languages
English
Commission

Commissioned by The John Lewis Partnership Music Society for first performance at its annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at Westminster Cathedral on 21 December 2015, sung by The Cavendish Singers directed by Manvinder Rattan.

First Performance
21.12.2015, John Lewis Partnership Annual Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols, Westminster Cathedral, London, UK: The Cavendish Singers/Manvinder Rattan
Availability

Score 0-571-57209-X is on sale in print, or as a download.

Programme Notes

In setting words (“Thus angels sung and thus sing we...”) by 17th-century English poet and satirist George Wither, I could not help but be influenced by Orlando Gibbons’ wonderful and well-known hymn tune. At first it was just the choice of text and a little hint of his musical style that pervaded my composition; soon, however, I found it impossible not to include snippets of Gibbons’ melody, like distant echoes. Finally, I decided on a semi-chorus who seem to comment on my settings of each of the four verses, with first one line, then two, then three of Gibbons, culminating with the whole choir singing the final line together: "And in the praise of God rejoice”.

Before I wrote this Christmas carol, I contacted a number of eminent choir directors to research whether they perceived there to be a lack of suitable repertoire in any part of the “Nine lessons and carols” format.  One answer that came back strongly was a need for rousing carol-service-finales with English text, unaccompanied, and of good quality. Song of the Angels will be, I hope, an enjoyable but challenging addition to the Christmas carol repertoire for cathedrals, churches and school choirs. 

Licensing Information

Site Search

Newsletter sign-up

Submit your email address here to receive the latest news and special offers from Faber Music

Score Availability

It is possible in certain circumstances to purchase some scores direct from the Hire Library, even if advertised as available only for hire.

Please Contact the Hire Library:
Tel: +44 (0)1279 828907 / 8
Email: hire@fabermusic.com

Take a look

Tom Coult

‘Coult is someone to watch out for.’ Tempo (Paul Conway), April 2014  ...

read more