A sweet a capella carol with Dirksen’s added verse bringing it up to date.
A Christmas Gloria
Gifts for the Holy Child – Saint petit enfant
Carol of the Angels
Song of Mary at the Manger
Audio & Video. Running out of TOP FIVE slots, but this Auden setting is profoundly moving: Why was I chosen to teach his Son to weep? The ending of the organ version makes it preferable.
I sing the birth
Nowell sing we, now all and some
Alleluia, A Newe Work is Come
From the 1961 York Cycle Play music. Also available as a movement in the 1965 Suite for Organ, Trumpet and Handbells (D. 513).
Audio & Video. Another one of my TOP FIVE works. The flute obbligato positively sparkles.
Welcome all wonders
Audio & Video. Written in 1957, the same year as Daniel Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata, the two pieces share vivid brass writing and intense rhythmic energy alternating with lyric beauty. This exists in many forms: Organ and brass, full orchestra, winds only…there’s even an arrangement for SSAA choir.
A Christmas Lullaby
Run, Shepherds, run
Hodie, Christus natus est
Audio & Video. Dirksen’s notated half-note=96 is unplayable – he’s merely saying NOT TOO SLOW. But the circumstances of its composition actually dictate the tempo: the performance should be exactly 2′ 30″! Also – don’t miss the Choral Arts Society’s orchestral version here as well.
A Child, My Choice
His most well-known and well-beloved carol. SATB a capella, simplicity itself.
Psalm for Christmas Day
Audio & Video. One of the editor’s TOP FIVE works. How DID those troops of angels come down??