OK – maybe not completely different. But different or me, at least.
Yesterday, I was in the studio recording the orchestra on a new Christmas cantata. But the orchestra was really a small chamber ensemble. And the cantata is really four carol suites with a brief cheery introit. The project, called “There is a Rose,” will be released for Christmas 2011 by Jubilate Music, a new division of Word Music.
The aim is to provide a substantive, but approachable, work for mid-small traditional church choirs. The work stands well on its own as an SATB choral with piano accompaniment. But the chamber ensemble (flute, oboe, horn, cello and percussion) adds some wonderful colors. More important – the chamber ensemble is doable by a lot of churches.
Just about every community has access to a decent flutist and oboist (or clarinetist – as a substitute) and french horn player. The cello part is very approachable, and could be replaced by bassoon. The percussion part is for a single orchestral-type player, and plays very nicely. (I know – I was once a percussionist in a former life.)
The choral parts sing naturally. They are fun without being too difficult. And there is lots of room for congregational singing.
I know – It’s February and nobody but us music publishing-types are thinking about Christmas. And I’m sure I’ll post more about the work as it hits the market. But this post is just to say that after 30+ years of writing choral music, it’s fun to do something “different.”