Jon Washburn

  • SATB divisi a cappella
  • 4 min
  • Jon Washburn
  • Franz Gruber

Programme Note

Text by Franz Gruber

Composer's note:
I have always loved Christmas carols, and Silent Night is surely one of my favorites.
I have wanted to arrange Gruber's piece for many years, but it is always difficult to work on music that has already been adapted and arranged in a thousand different ways, by as many composers.
I thought I'd bring an element of Jazz to my arrangement, since the melody lends itself perfectly to this.
Directors should pay close attention to the "stacked" chords of many different pitches; the bass and the soprano must always come out slightly more than the tenor and alto. One should aim for a warm and velvet-like tone quality, without much vibrato, especially when it comes to the highest soprano notes.
The melody is often hidden within the parts, and modified from the original; or it passes from one voce to another. In every case, is should always be sung slightly louder than the other voices.
Silent Night can be performed by a chamber choir or a larger ensemble. It also works very well for a small group of 8-12 voices.
ā€” Ivo Antognini