Carol of the Bells (for 12 cellos)

Carol of the Bells

I love these two carols (Carol of the Bells/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen) – they were made for each other — they both capture the excitement of the Christmas Season. I have three children that just get giddy during December — excited each morning as they get closer and closer to Christmas Day. That excitement is so contagious. I love it. It’s the kind of energy and eagerness that keeps you up at night. I wanted to capture that joy and anticipation in this arrangement.

For my fellow music geeks my favorite part of writing this arrangement is the obligatory hemiola due to the meter difference between the two songs — one is 3/4 and the other 4/4. I hope you like the way they collide. My second favorite part is the intense canon at the end that creates a cluster-chord feel and dissonant coda finally resolving with the main theme of BOTH tunes.

“People have told me that this reminds them of the Pirates of the Caribbean. Maybe one year the Pirates franchise will make a Christmas special and THIS could be the theme song! Instead of Carol of the Bells it could be titled ‘Jack Sparrow of the Bells.”

Steven Sharp Nelson

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