Choristers Guild, 2010

SAB, piano, C treble instrument

This stirring anthem depicts images from the first Christmas night with grace and charm and proclaims the familiar song of the angels Gloria in Excelsis Deo! Beautifully scored for three parts, the addition of a C-Treble instrument enhances this anthem’s beauty.

What a pretty melody Timothy Shaw has written! Dedicated to his children, the tune is childlike in its simplicity and purity, but never childish. The anonymous text has been set by several composers, but Shaw’s compares well to any of them. The setting is a straightforward treatment of the tune with simple SAB voicing and an attractive part for C instrument, probably a flute. It could be learned in a couple of rehearsals by a choir of average ability. The composer provides a nice little Gloria section by the treble voices in response to the men singing, “Then from the happy skies angels bent low, singing their songs of joy…” “Winds Through the Olive Trees” would be a good choice for a choir which is short on men or a youth choir and is appropriate anytime during the Christmas season. (CrossAccent, vol. 19/1)

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