O Come Emmanuel (2013)
SATB choir, organ or piano, or chamber group (Fl, Ob, Cl (A), Bn, Tpt(Bb), Hn(F) and organ or piano. Alternatively, for the small orchestra version, the keyboard part can be replaced with strings. Duration c.35 minutes.
An Advent Celebration, suitable for both church and concert choirs. It is based on the 7 Great ‘O’ Antiphons, and fragments of the well-known plainsong hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel permeate the work. To these, Bullard has added settings of a number of other Advent texts and hymns, in which the congregation/audience may join the choir if desired. It was written for and first performed by The Chapel Choir of Selwyn College Cambridge, director Sarah MacDonald.
‘It is a truly thoughtful meditation, from both a theological and a musical standpoint, that moves through its 22 movements with a fine sense of flow…excellent craftsmanship and deep appreciation of the poetry of Advent and Christmas shine through all.’ Rebecca Tavener, Organists’ Review
Amongst the movements which make effective separate carols or anthems are the following (please click on each for more details):
Where shall wisdom be found?
Come, thou long-expected Jesus
There is a rose-tree
Earth grown old
And art thou come with us to dwell?
Full Score and parts are available from the Music Hire Library, as are vocal scores
Oxford University Press more details
Recorded by Selwyn College Chapel Choir / Sarah MacDonald on Regent REGCD456 disc details
Also available to stream (Spotify, YouTube, etc) here.
This disc shows Bullard at his most inspired: the Selwyn choir proves a powerful advocate for this new cantata, and the director looking for a fresh and inviting treatment of familiar carols or texts would do well to consider Bullard – Journal of the American Choral Directors Association.
Another performance on YouTube