• highly imaginative arrangement of the Basque Carol
• each verse is distinctive and combines interest in the moderately difficult vocal parts with descants
• beautifully written organ part with loads of color
• great piece for Christmas services and carol concerts
This setting of a Basque carol has a wonderful organ part that sets the mood before the first verse begins.† It is well written and is not difficult, a marvelous carol that is not as well known as it should be.
THE AMERICAN ORGANIST, DECEMBER 2011
|Commissioned by AAM member Jason Abel and Christ Church, Alexandria, VA, this piece presents the familiar Basque Annunciation carol in an occasionally surprising form. Phillips has shortened the usual long notes leading into the phrase-ends, with the effect of moving things along very nicely, but also slightly defamiliarizing the tune for singers and listeners alike. The opening and closing stanzas are in A minor; pleasantly surprising accompanimental detours carry the intervening stanzas up a half-step apiece, without sounding at all trite. Stanza one is for women in unison, the second for men (unison, then in two parts), with "ahs" from the women. A brightly tinkling accompaniment introduces and separates the stanzas, and offers some internal commentary; the third stanza is for voices alone. The final stanza adds a descant over three- and then four-part voices. All in all, a very interesting and successful spin on a beloved carol, and one that I hope will find wide and happy use.|
|THE JOURNAL of the ASSOCIATION OF ANGLICAN MUSICIANS, Volume 20, Number 7, September 2011|