03 November 2017

Those Ships Three

Wednesday night, I wrapped up the cl/hp arrangement of I Saw Three Ships on Christmas Day, a brief (if colorful) two-minute piece to serve as an intermezzo for our Christmas concert programs. Against the apparent ‘stasis’ of the piece remaining in A (and at about a forte) throughout, there is the rhythmic device of switching from 6/8 to a sort of Double in 2/4. Will report when the harpist & I have a chance to read together.

That accomplished, I then addressed what I somehow felt was the most nearly challenging task on the What Our Harpist Needs to-do list.

Last year, one of the successful novelties in our Christmas concert was a cheerful Carolyn Jennings octavo, Sing Merrily a Song. The choir is unison for most of it, the last few pages have the choir in two parts, with an optional third.  Apart from the piano accompaniment, the octavo has indications for a flute (but no separate flute part appears to be provided, or available) and for “bells or glockenspiel (very light). Last year, then, I created the flute part (so that our enthusiastic young flutist would not wrestle with reading from score, no, no, no) and I added (what I consider) a proper handbell choir complement, 9 ringers.

Well, my idea this year was to add the harp. Im not saying that this task was absolutely ‘more work’ than my own arrangement of I Saw Three Ships on Christmas Day, but it has to fit properly into an already-existing octavo.

This is feeling like just about work enough for our doughty harpist ... will add harp to one more of the choirs pieces, an arrangement of a Slovak carol, Rise Up Early, and that will do it. This work, I'll see to early-ish Saturday.

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