Four Christmas Carols


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Four Christmas Carols

“Getty’s pieces are neo-Elizabethan and melodically rich, traditional and reverent yet possessed of a subtle original stamp and occasional unexpected harmonic twists. “Candles on the Tree” is the best one: poignant and joyful, … ”
Joshua Rosenblum
Opera News

  • For children's chorus or women's chorus and orchestra
  • Piano reduction available
  • Companion piece to Silent Night
  • Texts by Gordon Getty
  • Duration: 7:30

Listen to Four Christmas Carols on the album: December Celebration

Call the Children
The Snow Child
Run to the Window
Candles on the Tree

Orchestration: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, percussion, harp, celesta, strings

Call the Children is two songs in counterpoint in two languages. The medieval text, Hodie Christus Natus Est (Today Christ is Born), is solemn and cautionary, and was beautifully set in that spirit by Heinrich Schutz in the seventeenth century. I took an opposite approach Here both it and the English text unrelated except in the common nativity theme, are set with uptempo simplicity.

The Snow Child and Run to the Window continue the nativity theme in the same childlike character, but at a more reflective pace. Candles on the Tree closes the group with a Dickensian Christmas scene, spilling jolly nonsense rhymes at racetrack speed.

In each case I wrote the music first. The verse was written or adapted (in the case of Hodie) to fit. This was easy for Hodie, where melisma seemed appropriate, but a chore for the rest. Prima la musica seems to make the job harder, but worth the trouble if the tune matters most.

Gordon Getty

Run to the Window

December Celebration
New Carols by 7 American Composers

Conductor: Dawn Harms
Choir: Volti Choir
Orchestra: New Century Chamber Orchestra
Composer: Gordon Getty