God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen for String Quartet
By vaughan • 7th November 2010 • Posted in: Manor House Music Recordings
‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ is the eighth carol on the Manor House String Quartet ‘s first album of string quartet Christmas carols, called ‘I Saw Three Ships and Other Carols’. In this version, it was arranged by violinist Vaughan Jones.
The melody first appeared in a carol broadsheet in 1760, although many people believe that it has much earlier roots, dating back to the 16th century.
The tone of this arrangement reflects the solemn mood of this evocative melody – a melody which has a slightly melancholy feel to it. Vaughan chose to start it with an arpeggiated figure that evokes the feel of a chilly day with snow underfoot. Later, there is a variant which has an almost ‘barrel organ’ type tone to it, with slightly Eastern European harmonies. It is a beautiful carol that provides a wonderful contrast to some of the more upbeat and overtly merry offerings on this popular string quartet disc.
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