for mixed voices (SSAATTBB) a cappella
Text: English (adapted from Robert Herrick)
Duration: 3 minutes
This setting of the well-known Christmas text by Robert Herrick was commissioned in 2017 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the University of Dundee, and was first performed in the city’s St Paul’s Cathedral. Mostly homophonic in texture, the text comes to life through Will Todd’s characteristic lush harmonies with frequent clusters and detailed dynamic markings, performed at a steady but flexible tempo to allow the music to truly glow. This carol should provide a fresh addition to the repertoire of the intermediate to advanced choir, and a very rewarding experience for both performers and audience alike.
What sweeter music can we bring
Than a carol, for to sing
The birth of this our Heavenly King?
Awake the voice! Awake the string!
Heart, ear, and eye, and everything
We see Him come, and know Him ours,
Who with His sunshine and His showers
Turns all the patient ground to flowers.
The darling of the world is come,
And fit it is we find a room
To welcome Him.
The nobler part of all the house here is the heart,
Which we will give Him; and bequeath
This holly and this ivy wreath,
To do Him honour, who's our King,
And Lord of all this revelling.
Will Todd is a UK-based performer and composer whose music spans a variety of styles and genres. Best known for his choral works, he has worked closely with choirs such as The Sixteen and Tenebrae, and his 2003 jazz mass setting Mass in Blue has been performed extensively since its premiere by choirs in the UK, Europe and the USA. Other notable works for choir range from large scale oratorios such as Saint Cuthbert (recorded by the Hallé Orchestra in 2002) to the anthem The Lord is my shepherd, available for both upper and mixed voices with piano or orchestral accompaniment. He has worked on operas and stageworks, most notably in collaboration with Opera Holland Park for whom he wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 2013. A clarinet concerto, written for Emma Johnson, has been performed in the UK, USA and Finland and recorded and broadcast by the BBC Concert Orchestra. As a performer, Will leads his own Will Todd Trio from the piano and regularly directs choir workshops and performances.