A Book of Thorny Carols


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Orpheus Music

Composer: Thorn - Benjamin

Instrumentation: Descant - Treble - Tenor - Bass - various combinations

Period/genre: Australian Contemporary

Grade: Moderate

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*19 Quirky Christmas Carols.* The carols in this book are fun variations on what is usually heard at Christmas. Apart from the variations on _In dulci jubilo_ (the last six pieces in the book) they are not necessarily intended to be played as a set. The backwards and upside down carols can effectively be used for audience participation to see if they can be recognised in their altered forms.

1. Backwards carol 1 (Gook King Wencesles)
2. Backwards carol 2 (What Child is This?)
3. Backwards carol 3 (Away in a Manger)
4. Upside down carol 1 (Away in a Manger)
5. Upside down carol 2 (???)
6. Upside down carol 3 (Ding Dong Merrily on High)
7. God Rest Ye Angel Wenceslas
8. This endris ivy
9. Resonet in silent wassail
10. On Silent Christmas Night
11. God Rest Ye Merry Wenceslas
12. I saw three ships
13. Jack~~~~~s Jingles
14. In dulci Major/minor
15. Indulci canonica
16. In dulce chromatico
17. In dulci metallica
18. In dulci pointillismo
19. In dulci sicilienne

_2 x Score 20 pp._

  • Reviews
  • Benjamin Thorn
    A Book of Thorny Carols
    For three and four recorders
    Orpheus Music, OMP 225
    This work consists of two playing scores really useful as the combination of recorders varies and it will be useful to have two scores so that one can change recorders easily without having to change
    There are carols played backwards (with some altered phrasing and harmonic changes too). Some are played upside down. Then there are various combinations of carols including 'Jack's Jingles': a combination of Jingle Bells' and 'Brother Jack' by Cecile Michels-Thorn. The last six pieces based on In Dulci Jubilo can be played as a set there are more details about the pieces in the booklets. Benjamin Thorn suggests asking audiences to try to recognise the carols used. I think this is an excellent idea especially with those which include a mix of carols They are interesting to study as something different and maybe to use  four audience participation if you are looking for the unusual.

    Jackey Birch, Recorder Mail, Winter 2012 p.142

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