Plural Sax

Sax Quartets

Coventry Carol

arr. Ben Tordoff


The "Coventry Carol" is a traditional English carol whose authorship is unknown. It's first recorded use was in around 1591 and it gained its nickname from its inclusion in the "Coventry Mystery Plays" performed in the city of Coventry (usually in summer, not at Christmas!). It is a lullaby-like lament sung by the mothers of children killed by Herod after Jesus's birth, a sombre central theme for a beautiful carol.

This arrangement was based on an old setting and was originally for four alto saxes. Here we present a more standard SATB or AATB quartet, resulting in some very close harmony and the lower saxes working towards the upper end of their range in the quieter verses. They get to exert themselves more openly in the more animated second verse.

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© 2006 Ben Tordoff

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