On Christmas Night (Sussex Carol) for 2 voices or instruments, now with a simple harmony part (all open strings) for violin beginners! This pretty, vibrant Christmas carol is old-fashioned with a traditional English feeling, yet is fairly unknown.
My beginning singing class learned it very easily and liked it at once, and the violin duet (new) is tailor-made for a beginner who struggles to count.
I love the energy and joy in this song. The Christmas carol lyrics are to the point: "Then why should men on earth be so sad, since our Redeemer made us glad? When from our sin he set us free, all for to gain our liberty!"
Here is perhaps the most elegant choir rendition of "On Christmas Night" that you will hear on Youtube; David Willcocks' arrangement of the Sussex Carol, sung by the Choir of King's College. Most lovely:
Now for the new violin duet:
Yes, part 2 is all OPEN STRINGS. I said this was for a beginner! Believe me, just counting and changing bow direction every 3 beats is going to be a challenge for a new violinist, especially when part 1 is moving the bow continually! It isn't easy to hold steady when your partner is moving fast. And yes, I have 2 students even now working on this duet for the upcoming Christmas recital...
Though I have set this vocal arrangement mostly in 2 parts, the "alto" or Part II splits off, briefly making 3 voices in the first two lines. If you don't have three singers or instrumentalists, then choose one of the alto parts and don't worry about the missing voice.
The following recording of Sussex Carol is by Brian Dunning, Jeff Johnson, and John Fitzpatrick from A Windham Hill Christmas:
Enjoy the fresh simplicity of this little carol...
Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear it!
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