Gwyneth Walker

The Christ-Child's Lullaby

for SATB Chorus and Solo Alto (1988)

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Listen to a RealAudio (G2) stream of a performance of this work by the Western Illinois University Singers, James C. Stegall, conductor.

Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work by Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus, Paul Halley, conductor.

Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work by the Chorus of Pacific Lutheran Univeristy, Kathryn Lehmann, conductor.

Download a PDF file of the choral score of this composition. For perusal only -- not printable.

The Christ-Child's Lullaby is a setting for SATB Choir of the traditional Scottish "Hebrides Lullaby." This is an extended and dramatic treatment which might be enhanced by spatial separation of the various soloists (portraying Mary) from one another and the chorus.

The work opens with an Alto solo singing a lullaby: "My love, my dear, my darling thou..." Her song is framed by other women's voices, in echo and answer. As the rhythmic activity increases, the full chorus enters, growing in speed and dynamics into a celebratory statement of "Alleluia."

The middle section features a gentle tapping rhythm (from some of the members of the chorus) accompanying the Alto solo, with the chorus offering occasional response. The taps are intended to keep the energy and excitement of the "Alleluias" behind the solo singing.

The full chorus returns in celebration. Solo women's voices proclaim "Hosanna to the Son of David!" As the chorus fades out, the opening Alto soloist returns with her lullaby and expression of unworthiness to tend to the Christ-Child. She sings alone at the end.

[A setting of the Hebrides Lullaby for SSA Chorus is found in ECS #5268.]

Notes by the composer