This magnificent festive suite was written by Kevin Norbury for the Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School Wind Symphony and features several well known carols set in a Renaissance style. Here it has been set for brass band. Three contrasting movements comprise the work:
i. Processional (Personent hodie – On this day earth shall ring)
This is a short piece imagining a torchlight Yuletide procession (perhaps bearing the traditional roasted wild boar), using a well-known Christmas melody from the large collection of music compiled in the 16th century called Piae Cantiones (1582). The tune is presented twice with accompanying, related melodic material.
ii. Pastorale (Quem pastores laudavere – Shepherds sang their praises o’er him)
This is a 14th-century melody which was originally collected by Michael Praetorius at the end of the 16th-century. The treatment throughout is very lyrical without overly complex harmonies. The melody is heard three times with brief linking episodes and a short coda.
iii. Celebration! (In dulci jubilo – In sweet celebration – Ding-dong merrily on high))
This magnificent 13th-century melody was also a part of Michael Praetorius’s collection. It is traditional associated with the words ‘Good Christian men, rejoice!’ The opening is a straight transcription of the great chorale prelude for organ by J.S.Bach. After the grandeur of the opening, the tune is heard in more of a ‘folky’ style. A lot of related melodic material is then presented before the tune Ding-dong merrily on high is heard. After another episode of previously used music In dulci jubilo reappears in a joyful conclusion to the piece.