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West Gallery Christmas Music from Northamptonshire

Collected and Edited by Stephen J Weston

Published by Camerata Publishing, Kettering

Cover Design

Illustration from book cover

WGMA member Stephen Weston has published these settings of eight Christmas pieces. In addition to title and contents, this A4 book of 24-pages (5 of them blank) plus covers contains an introduction of some 850 words which explains the basics of the term "west gallery" and its music, instrumentation etc. And gives biographical details of the composers, followed by details of the pieces and the sources from which they have been taken (all but one of them from print), and acknowledgements.

In almost every case, the music is set for SATB in short score, above a short score instrumental accompaniment marked for 2 violins and cello, which mirrors the SAB voice parts exactly, except as detailed below. The contents are:

"While shepherds watched" to Thomas Jarman's 'Lyngham' or 'Nativity'.

"Methinks I hear the heav'ns resounding" by John Munden of Brixworth (3 sides). Three verses in 2 parts (v.1 for T+B; vv.2 & 3 for S/A/T+B) are separated by a short symphony from a final section in 4 parts, rounded off by a second symphony.

'A Christmas Carol': "Let an anthem of praise and a carol of joy" by Caleb Ashworth of Daventry. Verse 1 is set for tenor and bass only; the altos are given a harmony line in verses 2 and 3, with the sopranos joining the tenors. The instruments play from the voice parts.

Phillip Doddridge's "Hark, the glad sound" to Job's Piety by E. Butlin of Spratton.

Isaac Watts' "Hosanna to the royal son" to Radford by James Mursell of Kettering.

"Glory to God" from J. Rippon's selection, to Bedford New by Blundell of Walgrave (2 sides) with introductory symphony.

Charles Wesley's "Hark, the herald angels sing" to a tune by William Stretton of Aldwincle.

"Blessed be his glorious name for ever; let the earth be full of his glory; Amen" (2 sides), part of Jarman's Christmas anthem Behold.

Jean Seymour - reproduced from WGMA Newsletter January 2003

This book is out of print and no longer available

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