McDowall: Now may we singen
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Setting a fifteenth-century English text containing some short Latin passages, this is a joyful, dance-like carol with a medieval feel. The spirited, lilting melody begins in the sopranos and altos but is passed round the choir, while the other voices add stirring harmonies and bell-like drones to the texture. Now may we singen was originally published in the New Horizons collection The Ivy and the Holly.
I was contacted by Michael Lock in 2006 and asked to write a carol for the Concord Singers. For this commission I chose the text of the 15th-century carol, 'Now may we singen', and set it in a linear style, spare in texture, in keeping with the words. Sadly, Michael died before he could hear the carol; it was performed in his memory at the Corn Exchange, Bedford, in December 2007, conducted by Mary Lock.
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