Ceremony of Carols. Does it annoy anyone else……..?

Posted In: Repertoire

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    emma-graham on #61988

    ……When you are asked to play for a full SATB choral society? The original scoring for treble voices is so perfect and balances with the harp so beautifully, but personally I would like to shoot whoever thought it was a good idea to arrange for a massive SATB choir. The subtleties of the harp part are just lost. I now turn it down as a matter of course. I can’t stand it when choir members (usually tenors) whine about how they can’t hear the harp like they can when the piano is bashing it out in their weekly rehearsal. Rant over.

    kimberly-rowe on #61989


    carl-swanson on #61990

    I’m sure the SATB arrangement was made at the insistence of the publisher in order to sell more copies. Just look at all the French publications. In the lower right hand corner of the title page is a list of arrangements that are available. For the Debussy Danses for example, there are arrangements for harp and piano, two harps, piano, two pianos, etc. I really wonder if they ever sold copies of those ‘other’ arrangements.

    eliza-morrison on #61991

    I’ve played the Ravel Pavane in arrangements with string quartet, flute and viola, solo cello, solo bass, etc….
    I agree with those who love the purity and clarity of the original scoring (Britten Ceremony). The choir not being able to hear the harp, though, is almost always a problem regardless of the arrangement or the size of the choir, particularly in some of the movements (esp. “In Freezing Winter Night”).

    Sylvia on #61992

    I wonder why they don’t just mic the harp.
    I haven’t done the CofC, but when I play with a church choir, I always have a mic.

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