Composition - - American Recorder Society
6 Contorted Yule Carols
By Anthony St. Pierre July 2019

These six familiar Yule carols amusingly contort the original tunes by various modal and metric means, yet leave the sources quite recognizable. They are presented in ascending order of challenge: Jingle Bell Waltz, Hollied Halls Deckayed, Good King What’s-His-Name, O Tannen Tree, Wes Hale, and Twelve Days of Christmas Rush. All six will be accessible to advanced novice or early intermediate players.

The Twelve Days of Christmas is great fun to sing at a holiday gathering, but minus the lyrics, it falls short as an instrumental arrangement. However, the present version is highly condensed, and while not covering twelve days, it does cycle through all twelve major keys of the Circle of Fifths!

These settings are primarily intended as entertaining holiday fare, but are equally useful for teaching. To this end, do try the Play Along recordings that are provided.

Duration: 5:15

-- Anthony St. Pierre

For more holiday fun, the composer offers Three Disoriented Kings, for A T B, 3 Contorted Yule Carols for S (or Sn) A, 3 more Contorted Yule Carols for S A, and 3 Convoluted Carols for S A.

These 6 one-page holiday-themed duos are witty, clever and surprising while remaining completely accessible to intermediate players. Start your holiday play-in planning and be sure to include these duos! Get your fingers warmed up, as you will encounter nearly ALL the notes available on your instrument, as Mr. St. Pierre composes without restraint when it comes to accidentals – a wonderful feature of the music whose unexpected harmonic turns will surely captivate you as well as your listeners. They also work well an octave lower, on Tenor and Bass, so the possibilities for a larger group are extended.
-- Glen Shannon
No. of Recorder Parts:
New Music for Recorder, Play-alongs
Date Added:
Social/Casual, Fast/Up-tempo, Tonal/Melodic, Folk/Traditional, Variations/Fantasies/Adaptations, Recorded Accompaniment