New release (with demo): I heard the bells on Christmas Day

I’ve just about finished my latest piece: “I heard the bells on Christmas Day”.

As I commented in an earlier post, the work is based on a text by American poet Longfellow.

I have removed a couple of stanzas, as I felt that, although the poem worked well as a poem, it was a bit over long for an a cappella piece.

So I removed stanzas four and five, and now I think the whole piece is much tighter, and works quite nicely.

You can click [here to listen to a .wav file of the midi].

The flow runs thus:

Christmas Bells Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

(S.A) I HEARD the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

(S.A.T) And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

(S.A.T.B) Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

(Deleted) Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

(Deleted) It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

(Tenor solo, with bass drone) And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

(S.A.T.B) Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

So the piece should be released in short order, as all I have to do is tweak some odd notes. Of course, it is school holidays, so there may be a two week delay! Apologies if things take a fortnight longer than expected.

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