For our Christmas issue, out now, British composer Thomas Hewitt Jones has set ‘Lullay, my liking’ as a four-part a cappella carol for the readers of BBC Music Magazine to sing in carol services and concerts.
We do hope that those of you who sing in choirs will include ‘Lullay, my liking’ in your carol service or concert. If you have already received your magazine, please feel free to photocopy the music for your choir and share it widely. Alternatively, click on the button below to download a PDF of the score. Scroll down to read Hewitt Jones’s performance directions.
We’d love to hear or watch your performance, so do record it on an audio or video recorder, and either email the file to firstname.lastname@example.org or, if the file is too large, visit www.wetransfer.com and send the file to us from there. If you give the nod, we’ll even put your performances up on our website for everyone to enjoy. Happy singing!
The sheet music for ‘Lullay my liking’ is no longer available for free download, but is available for purchase here.
Composer Thomas Hewitt Jones’s guide to singing his new work
• This carol is best sung with a flowing feel, bringing out the long lines. It should have a quiet intensity, and a rocking feel – aim for a warm, blended sound.
• Dynamics should be adhered to as accurately as possible – hairpins also show the intended shape of the phrases. The ascending fifth at the start of the soprano/tenor solo in verse one should rise gently and delicately. Here are a few more hints and tips to help you get the most out of the score, printed opposite.
• Bar 17 – SATB to begin quietly after the solo.
• Bar 27 – the tenuti on ‘He is Lord’ should be broad and warm in feel. For maximum dramatic effect, do maintain forte from the last quaver of bar 28 all the way to the end of verse two, and then subito piano on the start of the refrain after the second verse.
• Bar 36 – molto legato, and bars 37-38 should be very rich in tone, with a slight feeling of ritardando over the barline into bar 38.
• Bar 39 – very bouncy, but quiet. Do take a crotchet out on the last beat of bar 47 to help attain a full sound on the downbeat of bar 48.
• Bars 52-54 – it works nicely if the dynamic can decrease quickly, giving way to a tender feel, which helps to depict the words. Beginning of verse five – delicate, building to entry in bar 60
• Bar 61 – Not flippant, but celebratory in mood: delicately syncopated, rather than overly spiky.
Pick up a copy of the Christmas 2014 issue of BBC Music Magazine to read about Thomas Hewitt Jones’s inspiration for this piece.
Other festive choral pieces by Thomas Hewitt Jones include: ‘Baby in an ox’s stall’, ‘Hear the angels sing’ and ‘The winding road’. View sample scores, listen to recordings, and explore recent choral releases published by Boosey & Hawkes at www.boosey.com/choralexplorer