Samuel, Rhian: What Cheer?
SATB and Organ
Composed for the internationally regarded Choir of New College, Oxford, and its conductor Edward Higginbottom, Rhian Samuel’s What Cheer? is a bright and uplifting new setting of words already familiar to singers from popular carols by William Walton and Peter Warlock. The scoring is for SATB choir and organ, with optional short solos for soprano, alto and bass.
An eminent and established song composer, Samuel has brought to this text, originally from a 16th-century commonplace book compiled by Richard Hill, her own idiomatic response to the tradition of music for Christmas. Though written for one of the world’s great vocal ensembles, What Cheer? is well within the range of accomplished amateur choirs, and the effective scoring for voices captures in ringing choral sounds the buoyant optimism of this poetic celebration of Christ’s birth.