C.26 - "Christmas Chorale - The Feast"

Composed: December 2012

    The second chorale influenced by our Bach chorale work at college. This one features remarkably poetic and devilishly ensnaring words written by yours truly (no sniggering!). This was the first of the ‘Christmas Chorales’ I would write, in which every year I would try to compose a new chorale around Christmas – a task I would only repeat for only the next year. Nevertheless, the harmony here is more acceptable than in "C.24" (I use the word 'more' acceptable, which does not imply it is "acceptable"!), and the use of a solo soprano – specifically a coloratura soprano – is intriguing. Aside from the cheesy text, and endlessly monotonous chordal writing, it is just another generic piece.

     Again, when rummaging through my possessions, I came across a manuscript in which this piece was nearly entirely written out in full. Of course, I had forgotten that with this composition I had attempted to compose it traditionally by hand on manuscript sitting at a piano by candlelight (okay, maybe not the last part). The majority of the piece was written this way, as this manuscript shows, and it would further explain the chordal homophonic prevalence within the piece. Here is this manuscript:

Figure 1: The written manuscript of "C.26 - Christmas Chorale - The Feast", bb.1-56

     Bars 1 - 56 were written traditionally. The remaining bars were written using Sibelius, in which I then added my own text. Although, this was actually my first religiously themed composition as discerned from the text. Though I would not consider myself to be a strong Christian, I do find religion to be fascinating – the music of it more so and infinitely beautiful. Thus I wanted to add to its catalogue and, well, this was the unfortunate first one!

Reminiscence written on 11th May 2016

Last updated: 20th October 2018

© 2019 Jonathan Shaw