(picc).2(II=picc).2.2.2 - 4331 - timp - perc(3): SD/mark tree/tgl/sleigh bells/glsp/cyms/xyl/t.bells/tamb/drum kit - harp - (cel) - strings. Alterrnative instrumentation: 2(II=picc).2.2.2 - 2221 - timp - perc(3) - harp - strings
Festive Overture: 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.
Additional Note regarding the Choral Version
Rather than just having an optional choral ending, it was suggested that when performed in a choral concert choir(s) might like to join in throughout the piece. This new version, which was given its first performances in December 2018 by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, plus adult and children’s choruses, was specially adapted achieve this. The main chorus (SATB) may optionally be joined by a children’s choir and/or a community choir.
Choral scores and a piano score for rehearsals are available from the publishers.
Note by Gordon Thornett