for lower voices (ATB) & oboe
Text: English and Latin (macaronic, translated by R C Trevelyan)
Composed in 1978 this is a setting of a Dutch traditional carol. It was first performed by the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, conducted by Andrew Nethsingha, at the Epiphany Carol Service in the College Chapel on 21 January 2012. The work opens with an extended passage for solo oboe, molto rubato. The vocal writing includes sections for various combinations of voice-parts, both with and without the oboe. A further solo oboe passage brings the work soflty to a close. Suitable for advanced standard performers. The oboe part is available as a free download from Boosey.com.
Born in Scotland in 1959, James MacMillan studied at Edinburgh and Durham Universities and now lives in Glasgow. His early successes as a composer in the 1990s included The Confession of Isobel Gowdie, premiered at the BBC Proms, and the percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel written for Evelyn Glennie. MacMillan has a special interest in choral composition, ranging from simple liturgical settings for use in church services, to major works for choir and orchestra including Seven Last Words from the Cross, Quickening and St John Passion. His music has been championed and recorded by leading choirs and vocal groups including Cappella Nova, Polyphony, The Hilliard Ensemble, The Sixteen, Westminster Cathedral Choir and the Netherlands Chamber Choir. With their Gaelic inflections and characteristic mixing of ancient and modern, his works have also proved popular with amateur chamber choirs around the world.