God rest you merry, Gentlemen


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This year’s Christmas publication is God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, one of the oldest carols of the English tradition, in two versions: for string quartet and for cello quartet. The source for this edition has been the choral part found in “Christmas Carols New & Old,” edited by John Stainer (1840–1901) and firstly published by Novello & Co around the year 1880.

The proposed edition consists of two separate full scores, one for string quartet and one for cello quartet, both accompanied by a full set of performance material. I have decided to keep the string quartet version in the original key of E minor, while I have transposed the cello quartet version down a whole step to account for the better resonance the key of D minor gives on cellos, and to keep the highest note of the first cello in range of the first thumb position. The separate parts for the cello quartet versions bear fingering and bowing suggestions by myself.

I hope you will enjoy playing this piece with your friends, family, and students as much as I have enjoyed researching and adapting it.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a time of joy, peace, and rest with all your dear ones.


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