Shakespeare’s Carol For String Quartet

By vaughan • 29th November 2011 • Posted in: Manor House Music Recordings

The Manor House String Quartet‘s second CD of Christmas carols for string quartet (entitled ‘It Came Upon The Midnight Clear and other carols’) included a few rewarding rarities. The intriguingly  names ‘Shakespeare’s Carol’ by the 18th century English composer Thomas Arne (1710 – 1778) is one such curiosity, being one of the songs written by Arne as incidental music for the Shakespeare play ‘As You Like It’. Like his other famous songs ‘Rule Brittania’ (from ‘The Masque of Althred’) and ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ (also from ‘As You Like It’) it is characterised by an extensive melody which is nonetheless made up of short phrases. It’s a distinctive tune which also has a faintly patriotic feel to it, yet the words are more concerned with inclement weather: ‘Blow, blow, thou winter wind, Thou art not so unkind – Thou art not so unkind, As man’s ingratitude’.

The arrangement on this disc by violinist Vaughan Jones remains faithful to the original and has two verses (you can listen to a sample of it by clicking on the link ‘It Came Upon The Midnight Clear’ above). It’s inclusion (amongst better known carols) will hopefully help it to be appreciated as a worthy Christmas carol in it’s own right!



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About Manor House Music

Manor House Music is a wedding string quartet and duo consisting of some of the UK’s finest musicians. Founded in 2005, and based on the borders of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, we’ve now performed for over 800 weddings, corporate events and private functions. We combine a high quality of musical performance with a large repertoire of dynamic arrangements and a desire to work closely with clients to ensure that every detail is just right for your event.



Tel: 07870 171194