Sussex Carol for String Quartet – This year has once again been very busy with the arranging and recording of a second volume of Christmas Carols for string quartet (writes the arranger Vaughan Jones). The album is entitled ‘It Came Upon The Midnight Clear and other carols’ and recorded by the Manor House String Quartet. It is available from our website as well as¬†on iTunes, CD baby and Amazon.
Deciding which carols to include in this second volume was quite tricky at times because many of the most popular ones had already been included in our first disc, ‘I Saw Three Ships and other carols’, yet there were so many which we felt deserved to be recorded as part of the second volume. In the end, this collection is in many ways more varied and interesting than the first with carols from many different countries.
The first track is the wonderfully fresh ‘Sussex Carol’, so named as Ralph Vaughan Williams collected it from a lady near Horsham in Sussex. It was first published in 1919 and has since become established as one of the most popular of all carols, arranged for many different combinations.
In order to keep the spirit of the original melody I’ve given it a counter melody which helps join the various sections together as well as occuring simultaneously with the main melody. The whole thing has a real sense of vibrant energy which skips along,¬†getting the disc off to a lively, celebratory start!
You can hear sound samples of all 46 carols by clicking on the links for the two albums above.
You can also purchase the sheet music of Vaughan’s arrangement for the combinations of string quartet and string orchestra here: