Britten Ceremony of Carols SATB

Posted In: Repertoire

  • Spectator
    Catherine Ashley on #221166

    Has anyone played the SATB version of Ceremony of Carols?

    Firstly, do you know if the harp part is any different to the original SSA version?

    Secondly, I understand the vocal lines are a little different and more canonical, did you find it hard to perform, having previously been used to playing with a different choral part?

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #221316

    I have played it many times, with different types of choirs, and always used the same harp part. But I would be interested to see others’ responses to this question.

    MusikFind1 on #221376

    Britten, Benjamin: A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28 Harp part $18.95
    This Harp part published by Boosey & Hawkes is used to accompany all of the published Choral editions.
    or in the EU

    janna-bisceglia on #221402

    I’ve always used the same harp part regardless. If you practice with a YouTube video you can get used to hearing where the male voices are featured.

    emma-graham on #221428

    The harp part is the same for both versions.
    I’m possibly going to be controversial here! I loathe the SATB version. A few years ago I made the decision to turn it down if I’m asked to do it. I don’t regret it. It isn’t what Britten intended and for me the balance is all wrong. The best performance I ever did was with just 6 women – although nothing really beats an all boy choir if I’m honest. The clarity of the harp is lost against the full forces of a huge, amateur choral society, which is what I am usually asked to accompany. I got tired of being asked to play the whole thing basically at double forte so the harp could be heard.

    Alison on #223229

    Well I heard the SATB performance last night and enjoyed it tremendously, the harp (mine) was situated out front so between the choir and the soloists. Yes the harp was more covered by the tutti ensemble in Wolcum Yole and throughout Freezing Winter night but that didn’t detach from the work, however if you are listening for cues as you perform you do need to pay attention to the vocal score as they are different and I hadn’t expected that.

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