For SATB (with opt. solos) and organ or piano, or with small orchestra or chamber group
A Light in the Stable tells the Christmas story through a blend of original settings and well-known carols, and is suitable for both concert and church choirs.
The familiar Gospel words (which may be spoken, sung, or replaced with other appropriate readings) are interspersed with a range of new material, including the lively 'Glory to God'; 'Sing Lullaby', in which Mary foreshadows the events of Jesus' life; and the reflective 'A Light for Today', an evocation of the Nativity tableau.
The audience/congregation are encouraged to join in for some carols, and choir and listeners will delight in the new settings of familiar words. A range of soloists may optionally take some of the vocal lines, and the accompaniment is equally flexible. A wonderful companion to Bullard's Advent celebration, O Come, Emmanuel, this work is perfect for anyone looking for a new take on familiar Christmas words and melodies.
Forces or Category SATB & organ/piano/small orchestra/chamber group
Duration 35 minutes
fl, cl, bcl (opt), bn, hn (opt), tpt, tbn, perc (opt), hp (opt), either string quintet or string orchestra or keyboard (pno/organ). The keyboard part is an alternative to the string parts, and not the same as in the vocal score. Programme Notes
A Light in the Stable is designed for church or concert use. The audience or congregation may join in the well-known carols in movements 5 (first verse only), 8, 16, and 19, as indicated, and optional readings are suggested.
The choir parts are designed with some flexibility in mind. They may be sung entirely by SATB choir, but movements 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, and 17 may be sung by soloists, a semi-chorus, or all voices, as shown. Alternatively, these movements may be omitted and replaced by readings, as indicated. Movement 10 can be sung by upper voices (SA) or by SATB. In movements 5 and 14, and optionally in the final two pages of movement 19, there is a soprano part which may be taken either by a solo voice or by a semi-chorus from the main choir. Before the final movement there is a space for a reading and prayers, if desired.
The keyboard part may be played on piano or organ. Organists may wish to omit a few of the RH octave doublings, using the registration to thicken the texture. Pianists may omit the small notes in the LH or, where appropriate, play them in the RH, perhaps an octave higher. Alternatively, some chords may be spread.
Many of the movements can also be performed separately during the Christmas season.
Prologue: Of our Maker's love begotten
As Joseph was a-walking
Go tell it on the mountain
While shepherds watched
Glory to God in the highest
Hark! The herald angels sing
The little Lord Jesus
The shepherds visit the stable
He is born (Il est né)
Mary ponders these things in her heart
The wise men
As with gladness men of old
The wise men offer their gifts
A Light for Today
Of our Maker's love begotten