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Instrumentation: SSSAAATTBB a capella
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes (London)
for mixed choir (SSSAAATTBB) a cappella
Text: English (Anon, 15th Century Latin Hymn)
A boy was born in Bethlehem was written for Canticum and premiered by them, under the direction of Mark Forkgen at St. Lawrence Jewry, London in December 2012.
When choosing a tempo for performance it is important to ensure that the verses do not drag, but also that the 'Alleluia' refrains do not sound rushed. These 'Alleluias' should remain distant-sounding (no matter which voice part is singing them) until the section that begins at bar 88, where the refrain comes to the foreground. At bar 102 the Alleluias should be sung marcato so they are heard as detail within what is otherwise a wall of sound.
Hywel Davies was born and brought up in London. He is active as a creative artist, editor and arranger. An award-winning composer, he has a long-standing association with Kokoro (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s new music ensemble) and other musicians and ensembles across Europe and North America; he was also the recipient of an Arts Council England International Fellowship in 2003. As a sonic and installation artist he has created works for Arts Council England’s internal phone system, the former USAF base at Greenham Common and a ringtone to mark the handover of the Olympic flag from Beijing to London. His work as an arranger has been published by Boosey & Hawkes, Durand-Salabert-Eschig, Chester Music, Novello, and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. For Boosey & Hawkes his arrangements include two volumes of pieces by Astor Piazzolla and a volume of works by Rachmaninoff; he has also compiled four anthologies of piano music for them – Animations, Contemplations, Fascinations and Gradations.
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