The Sans Day Carol For String Quartet – The Sans Day Carol is included on the Manor House String Quartet‘s second collection of Christmas Carols entitled ‘It Came Upon The Midnight Clear and other carols’ (you can hear a sound sample by clicking on this link). It’s another instance of a melody (which may have been in existence for many centuries) being collected and notated and thereafter becoming well known across the world. It owes it’s name to the Cornish village of St. Day (pronounced in Cornish as Sans Day) which itself was named after a Breton Saint. The words¬†venerate the holly tree as ‘the first tree in the greenwood’.
The melody on this disc is arranged by Vaughan Jones and is jaunty and¬†lively, with a¬†more¬†playful quality¬†to it than¬†many other carols. In this arrangement, the tune gets passed around between the different instruments in a series of verses, with each instrument of the quartet giving it a different treatment.
You can also purchase the sheet music of Vaughan’s arrangement for the combinations of string quartet and string orchestra here: