Three Medieval Carols

1.    Out of your sleep

2.    Maid, Mother, Mary

3.    Welcome! Our Messias


My “Three Medieval Carols” were written between 1969 and 1973 for the six solo voices of the Baccholian Singers.  Later I have revised them for men’s voices of the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, retaining the six-part texture but relaying some sections to contrast solo and full voices.  The carols need little in the way of introduction or explanation and reflect the Christmas message in a style that is both direct and colourful.

“Out of your sleep” begins with a slow introduction making use of some aleatoric techniques to paint a picture of gradual waking into a dawn full of bells.  Thereafter the music picks up in tempo, although the bell sounds are never far way and finally form a joyful coda.   “Maid, Mother, Mary” is altogether gentler and more reflective in character, and makes much use of a solo tenor.  “Welcome! Our Messias” is an exuberant setting that drives the music forward to a bright, optimistic conclusion.

© Christopher Brown 2011