Forbes L'Estrange: Love Came Down - for unaccompanied SATB Choir
Mixed Voices (SATB+)
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The beauty of Christina Rossetti’s poem is in its simplicity, which is reflected in this SATB setting. To this end, I would urge choirs to sing it with sparing use of vibrato and certainly without defaulting to a rolled “r” in the word “Christmas”. The rule of thumb is to sing the words as naturally as possible. Wherever the words “love came down” are forming the accompaniment to the verse, please keep the consonants gentle and the phrasing legato. Also, the crescendo and diminuendo hairpins should be subtle, not overt. For verse 3, I would encourage choir directors to invite any sopranos who can manage an Ab below middle C to join the altos so that the soprano line never overpowers the alto melody. The use of “love” as an accompanying word in this verse is intended to sound like “ah” and to be as unobtrusive as possible. Think of the meaning of the word “love” as you sing it as this will create the warm, smiling “ah” vowel intended.
Love Came Down
by Joanna Forbes L'Estrange
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