23 Nov 2016

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Music teacher Chris Artley has composed a new piece which will be premiered at the King’s College carol services next month.

Artley’s new composition sets Christina Rossetti’s 19th century poem ‘Love came down at Christmas’ to music and was composed especially for the King’s College Chapel Choir led by international soprano Gina Sanders.

"There is a wonderful balance of simplicity and complexity in this beautifully crafted SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) offering, with plenty of interest in the melodic shapes and appealing harmonies,” says Sanders.

"Chris engages both the singer and the listener with a mood of reflective stillness and deep sincerity. Ideal for youth and community choirs.” 

The poem has already been set to music as a Christmas carol by many composers but Artley, who has written several Christmas carols in the past, says he was drawn to the beautiful poem and Sanders’ request was the perfect excuse.

“My aim was to produce an attractive work for four part choir and organ, which would be both a challenge and an enjoyable sing for the choir,” says Artley. 

The coming month is an exciting time for Artley with two of his works being performed by choirs around the world.

At the end of this month the Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir, which has been described alongside the Vienna Boys Choir as one of the finest in the world, will perform Artley's composition 'O Magnum Mysterium' at their Advent Evensong.

The Cincinnati Camerata will be giving the Northern Hemisphere premiere of 'Qui Creavit Caelum' at their Mary East and West concerts in early December. 

Later in December the Sonux Ensemble, one of Germany’s top male voice choirs, will premiere the male voice arrangement of 'O Magnum Mysterium' and will release a recording of the piece on their Christmas CD.

Artley's arrangement of my 'O Magnum Mysterium' will also have its French premiere with a performance by Le Choeur de L'Opera de Nice at their Christmas concerts.

Closer to home New Zealand’s Graduate Choir will perform Artley's award-winning ‘Qui Creavit Caelum’ at the APO Christmas concerts in Parnell's Holy Trinity Cathedral. https://www.apo.co.nz/whats-on/celebrate-christmas/

A demo recording of Artley’s composition of ‘Love came down at Christmas’ sung by American tenor Matthew Curtis can be heard on SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/chris-artley/love-came-down-at-christmas-chris-artley    

The King’s College annual carol services will be held on Sunday 4 December at 5pm (for Day students and parents) and 7pm (for Boarders and parents) - however students and their friends and families are invited to attend whichever service suits.