For boys' or female voices and harp (piano in extremis but with alterations andomissions)
There is also a version for SATB and harp arranged by Julius Harrison
Contents: · 1. Procession (using a variant of the Magnificat antiphon for the second Vespers of the Nativity of Our Lord) · 2. Wolcum Yole! (anon.) · 3. There is no rose (anon.) · 4a. That yongë child (anon.) · 4b. Balulalow (James, John and Robert Wedderburn) · 5. As dew in Aprille (anon.) · 6. This little babe (Robert Southwell) · 7. Interlude (harp solo) · 8. In Freezing Winter Night (Robert Southwell) · 9. Spring Carol (William Cornish) · 10. Deo gracias (anon.) · 11. Recession (as for Procession)
The Ceremony of Carols is one of Britten's best-known and most-performed works. It is a brilliantly conceived and dramatic concert work which sees the voices process totheir places singing unaccompanied plainsong and, at the end, processing out again to the same chant. These movements can also be accompanied but strictly only if the voices do not process. The final Alleluia can be repeated as many times as necessary to get the singers to and from their destination. Variety isthe key word here as all the carols have such individual identities. If anythingshows Britten's genius for writing for voices it must be this work.