Darke, Harold: In the Bleak Midwinter. TTBB
TTBB and organ
Arranged by John Rutter
There can be few more delightful presents than a piece of music. Even so,when Margaret Agnes Calkin, friend of the youthful Harold Darke, received In the Bleak Midwinter as a gift from the composer one Edwardian Christmas long ago, could she ever have guessed that a century later this delightful carol-anthem would be sung throughout the world, and even be voted ‘the greatest Christmas carol of all time’ by The BBC Music Magazine?
Though published in 1911, the autograph score bears the date of completion as 9 December 1909, and to mark the centenary of this remarkable setting of Christina Rossetti’s immortal words, Stainer & Bell are pleased to publish a a version for TTBB and organ made by a master of contemporary choral music, John Rutter.
Like the version for SSA already available, this new arrangement for men’s voices stays true to the much-loved original for SATB and organ, while making it available for the enjoyment of male-voice choirs. With John Rutter’s transcription of the organ part for string orchestra, there are now more ways than ever to include the work in Christmas programmes, as well as other vintage choral items by Darke from the same period, including The Shepherds had an Angel, and the Three Carols for SATB: Love came down at Christmas, Cradle Hymn and A Christmas Carmen, also published by Stainer & Bell.