for mezzo-soprano and baritone soloists, SATB chorus, and piano, orchestra, or brass ensemble
The story of Good King Wenceslas on the Feast of Stephen is presented here as a vivid musical narrative, with solo parts for the characters of Wenceslas (baritone) and Page (mezzo-soprano). Chilcott sets new words by Charles Bennett to a colourful array of styles to recount their snow-bound story. The choir sets the scene before Wenceslas and Page meet in 'Who can that be?', and the story-telling continues in several contrasting movements, including a touching solo ballad from Page entitled
'Thank you' and the strong yet reflective closing movement, 'On St Stephen's Night'. The full five verses of the well-known carol are skilfully interwoven throughout the work in different parts, with the final verse being sung by the audience or a semi-chorus, and the movements are punctuated by an
instrumental interlude and triumphant fanfare.
An orchestral accompaniment is available on hire/rental.
Bob Chilcott has been involved with choral music all his life, first as a Chorister and then a Choral Scholar at King's College, Cambridge. Later, he sang and composed music for 12 years with The King's Singers. His experiences with that group, his passionate commitment to young and amateur choirs, and his profound belief that music can unite people, have inspired him both to compose full-time and, through proactive workshopping, to promote choral music worldwide.
Wintertide ; Who can that be? ; Forth they went ; Interlude - Winter Dark ; Sleeping in winter's arms ; Thank you ; Fanfare - Winter Bright ; On Saint Stephen's Night