Star Bright: 5 Carols for String Quartet


String quartet 14”

Five popular Christmas carols for string quartet.

Preview the score:



Star Bright: 5 Carols for String Quartet

2 violins, viola, cello
Duration: 14′
Premiere: Lux String Quartet: Stephanie Skor, Ellen Hacker, violins; Kristi Petraborg, viola; Rosa Thompson-Viera, cello, St. Paul, Minn., 12/14/23
Score and parts in one 65-page document

I. Adeste Fideles
II. How Brightly Beams the Morning Star (Tune: WIE SCHÖN LEUCHTET)
III. I Saw Three Ships
IV. Once in Royal David’s City (Tune: IRBY)
V. Hark, the Fuguing Angels Sing (Tune: MENDELSSOHN)

Program note

In the early 2000s, I began to play an annual Christmas party at the Saint Paul home of my friends Rob and Louise Wilcox. Over the years, I made arrangements of many popular carols to play at the party. A selection of them was published by Augsburg Fortress in 2016 as Wassail!: Christmas Carols for Piano.

Many of these arrangements suggested a larger format. The Lux Quartet had played my Third Quartet beautifully in 2019, so when I wanted to give the group a gift of carol arrangements, I went to Wassail! for the first three, then added two more elaborate settings. “Once in Royal David’s City” will be familiar as the opening number in the Kings College Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols. The hymn-tune by Henry J. Gauntlett is called IRBY. The finale, a fugue on the theme of “Hark the Herald, Angels Sing,” gains new energy as a triple-meter tune.

4 musicians bowing after carols for string quartet

Lux String Quartet plays Star Bright: Five Carols for String Quartet, 2023





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