C.49 - "Christmas Chorale - With Wondering Awe"

Composed: December 2013

     The second Christmas Chorale following the yearly tradition I had set myself from the previous year. This was written during December 2013 at my home.

     Compared to my previous "Christmas Chorale", this one is far more sophisticated and less cliché to some extent. I enjoy it much more as, once again, it involves swift counterpoint that I wrote with Bach's chorales in mind. The lyrics, for the first time, are not my own, but instead are of an anonymous Christmas Hymn from Boston around 1885.

     I attempted to use the same music for the sopranos each time the chorus returned, but I legitimately forgot that this was what I was doing for the third and final choruses, and instead accidentally wrote new music. I never changed it, as it worked too well with the new music. I apologise to tenors for their ‘A’ towards the end – you can make it! Nevertheless, I do see a remarkable progression from my earliest chorales demonstrated here, and I can thank my college chorale exercises for that. Otherwise, I probably would not have learnt the rules of counterpoint as early as I did.

     I was tempted to try and get my local church choir to have a go at singing this, but I never did as I figured it might be a bit challenging with the increased polyphony. A year later, during the winter of 2014, I would later submit this piece for the University of Surrey carol competition. I wasn’t entirely sure that I submitted it to the right place, as I never heard anything back from it. On the original score you can note the original 'C' number I had given this piece when I completed it.

Reminiscence written on 4th June 2016

Last updated: 20th October 2018

© 2019 Jonathan Shaw