Carol for soprano solo and a cappella SATB chorus, with divisions
Text by James, John, and Robert Wedderburn
This setting was written in March 2009. It is dedicated to Judy Martin and the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, where over recent years it seems that I have been gradually becoming a sort of unofficial composer-in-residence. The strophic arrangement of the text is preserved in the music, with a gentle first verse for chorus succeeded by a second in which a soprano soloist spins a more passionate line above a free variation of what has already been heard. The second verse features division of the chorus parts to create a richer texture, but the setting returns ultimately to the hushed E flat major from which it arose.
Balulalow was published by Oxford University Press in 2010, and was recorded by Commotio and Matthew Berry, with Grace Davidson, soprano, for the Naxos CD 'In the Heart of Things', released in 2012.