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JSC On Christmas Night
Product Code: 4102001403
Comments by Assistant Director of Music and Creative Arts Paul Sharman
On Christmas night was written for Regent Hall Band to play at the annual Christmas with The Salvation Army event at the Royal Albert Hall in 2013. It features the two melodies that are used with the carol It came upon the midnight clear.
The first section is joyful in nature. The repeated figure in the Cornet should be well balanced, with a constant tempo. Underneath this are references to other carols about Christmas night; While shepherds watched, Sussex Carol and O holy night!. The almost fanfare-like figure at section A needs to be bright but not too heavy. This is intended to depict the appearance of the angels.
At section B, the traditional tune for It came upon the midnight clear (Christmas Collection 45) is heard in 6/8 time. This should have a light, dance-like feel which should continue throughout the first movement. Make good use of the diminuendos and crescendos in section E and ensure well-measured (and balanced) duplet quavers in G.
The second movement commences with the Solo Horn reference to Silent Night!, before a gentle presentation of the tune Willis (Christmas Collection 46). The movement closes with a reference to 'Gloria' from Ding Dong! merrily on high.
The final movement begins at section J. Ensure there is a good balance of entries on the upward cascades, in both volume and rhythm. Keep a high level of energy and drive throughout this section. The Cornet 'fanfares' in section M are a throwback to section A but need to have much more life and vigor. The majestic treatment of the tune at section N mirrors the lyrics of the final verse of the carol as it speaks of the time when 'the whole world will give back the song which now the angels sing'.
Written for Regent Hall Band, this piece features the two melodies with which we associate the carol 'It came upon a midnight clear'. The outer sections are full of energy and use the traditional tune, while in the contrasting middle section we hear the beautiful melody, 'Willis'.