Piece of the Week: O Come, Emmanuel

Advent Greetings to all readers! I wrote ‘O Come, Emmanuel’, a 35-minute cantata based on the plainsong melody of the same name, for Sarah MacDonald and the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College Cambridge, in 2012: they gave it its first performance in a liturgical context and later recorded it for Regent Records. Since then it has been performed by many choirs in several countries, and also a number of movements have been performed separately: just this past weekend I heard a choir sing ‘There is a rose-tree’ in a concert (which I followed with a piano improvisation in which I began by playing the final bars backwards), and on the Sunday morning service at our church, one of the short movements, ‘O Key of David’ was sung as an introit. It’s very flexible: it can be sung complete, of course, but also parts of it can be used in many different ways.
It contains arrangements of traditional Advent carols,  new settings of Advent words, hymns in which the congregation or audience may join the choir, linked by the words of the ‘O Antiphons’ set to fragments of the traditional plainsong melody.
Here is a link to the page on this site giving further details, including links to the publishers, Oxford University Press, and to the recording (Regent Records)
Here is a link to a performance of There is a rose-tree by the Selwyn College Choir

2 thoughts on “Piece of the Week: O Come, Emmanuel”

  1. Merry Christmas,

    I have been listening to the new cd of The Sixteen and I am impressed by this carol:

    the carol of the advent.

    My question is: where can I buy a copy of this carol and I can use it for next Christus.

    for my choir.

    I hope you can can help me out.



    1. Dear Hans,
      I’m afraid I don’t know who publishes The Carol of the Advent. I suggest you contact The Sixteen via their website for more information. Best wishes.

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