“An English Christmas” brings together four familiar English carols in a cheerful, attractive arrangement.
The tune “Ding, Dong! Merrily on High” is French in origin, appearing as “Le Branle de l’Official” in Orchésographie, a book of dances written by Thoinot Arbeau and published in 1588. Its lyrics about Christmas bell-ringing were written by Anglican priest George Ratcliffe Woodward and published in his Cambridge Carol-Book in 1924.
“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” first appeared on an English broadsheet about 1760; its composer and lyricist are unknown. “Here We Come A-Wassailing” was also printed on a broadsheet for distribution around Yorkshire, circa 1850.
“Good King Wenceslas” is known as an English carol for its lyrics, written in 1853 by the great hymn-writer and Anglican priest, John Mason Neale. However, its tune owes greatly to “Tempus adest floridum,” a carol appearing in the 1582 Finnish song collection, Piae Cantiones.
Score, parts (Bb tpt. 1, Bb tpt. 2, F horn, tbn, tuba) — $12.99