Richard Lambert Music

Herrick's Carol (Op.22)

A carol for unaccompanied SATB choir, setting verses from Hesperides (1647), by Robert Herrick

This carol for a capella SATB chorus was composed in 1995. It was first performed on the 13th December of that year by the choir of Royston Parish Church (Hertfordshire, UK) with the composer directing, at Southwark Cathedral, London.

The (abridged) text, by Robert Herrick, is taken from his Hesperides (1647), which was performed before Charles I “in the presence, at Whitehall”. It is also found in the Oxford Book of Carols (1928).

The four verses, loosely in G minor, are free variations of the opening melody: homophonic chordal movement throughout, but textural, dynamic and rhythmic variation provide contrast within a strophic setting.

The verses are each interspersed with a more legato refrain in F minor, identical each time, and ending in a gentle tierce de Picardie.

If desired, the four verses can be performed by a smaller group, and the refrain by a full choir.

Performances

  1. 13 December 1995, Southwark Cathedral, London, Royston Church choir, Richard Lambert (conductor)
  2. 17 December 1995, Royston Parish Church, Royston Church choir, Richard Lambert (conductor)

Listen

This recording of Herrick's Carol was produced using computer software called Sibelius: it is not a live recording.

Purchase

You can view and purchase the score of Herrick's Carol from Score Exchange.

If you wish to listen to the piece on that website, select the ‘MP3 file’ link instead of playing the embedded score for better audio quality.

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