Harold Darke’s nostalgic In the bleak midwinter has been a mainstay of the famous Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (broadcast worldwide on Christmas Eve from King’s College, Cambridge) since 1941, when he became the war-time Director of Music at King’s. He followed in the footsteps of Holst in setting the text by Christina Rossetti, but unlike Holst’s version, Darke’s isn’t strictly strophic. Instead, it alternates verses for solo voice and organ with ones for the full choir. In this transcription cup-muted instruments provide the organ accompaniment as the first verse (normally sung by a treble) is played by a solo trumpet, and the third (normally a baritone) employs the unique sound of a solo euphonium. In the second and fourth verses a quartet of instruments play the role of the choir.

Parts included:

  • Score
  • Trumpet in E-flat
  • Trumpet 1 in B-flat
  • Trumpet 2 in B-flat
  • Trombone 1
  • Trombone 2 (doubling Euphonium)
  • Trombone 3 (Bass)
  • Tuba

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