Carols from The Old World

Grade 1

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Double Reed Quintet


      Carols from The Old World - Gabriel Musella


As the title suggests these popular carols have been around for centuries. Each is treated in a unique manner but despite the alteration of traditional harmonies, textures, rhythms, and time signatures, the original melodies are readily apparent to the listener. These brief settings are merely modern treatments of songs that have withstood the test of time. The Burgundian carol “Pat-a-Pan” serves as the subject of the 1st Movement. Through two full statements of the theme, the melody remains intact and unaltered. Initially, an ornate ostinato creates a counter line, and then the main theme is set in a canon with the countermelody underneath. The percussion instrument utilized is the clapping of hands. The “Coventry Carol” begins with a mournfully, repetitious motive sounded by the 1st bassoon. The English horn carries the unadulterated melody twice through once over a pedal and then amidst surrounding lines that weave in and out of each other to create a tapestry laced with angst and melancholy. The finale movement is God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” set in a festive mood and robbed of an eighth note per bar to create a mixed – meter dance feel! It is also a four – voice fugue with a quasi-walking bass line underneath. The final statement uses another ancient carol as a descant voice in the 1st oboe; the Catalonian carol, “Fum, Fum, Fum.” These settings are intended to engage the player and listener during the busy holiday season. They are not very long because there is still much shopping left to do and this concert is already long enough!

Instrumentation: 2 Oboes, English Horn, 2 Bassoons & Auxiluary Percussion

Published by: RBC Publications

Additional information

Weight 0.25 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 0.25 in

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