Best Christmas Carol arrangements?
Does anyone know where I can get good Christmas Carol arrangements? I've agreed to play some for work, and most of what I can find is sort of 4 lines of music all in first position stuff, which is fine, as I can usually transpose up a fifth or an octave and repeat and ornament to make it all a bit less samey.
Just wondering if there were any arrangements people would recommend that are slightly more on the advanced-player level...
James Curnow wrote a book which is available for different instruments called "Great Carols." The arrangements are rated grade 3-4, sound terrific when played with accompaniment. They were originally written for Phil Smith, principal trumpet of the NYPhil for many years. There is a book for Flute/Oboe/Mallets which would work well for violin. You need to buy the instrument book and you also need to buy separately the piano book if you wish to perform them with piano.
Last Resort Music has some very nice arrangements (18 Traditional Carols).
There are books by Martha Yasuda written for students both as easy duets and then the two parts together as double stops. They're pretty nice and this adds some more interest than just the solo line.
Paul Fehrenbach's arrangements of 48 Christmas Carols, originally for solo violin and now also available for viola, are definitely for more advanced players. Volume One contains many popular carols and Volume Two features lesser known ones. All are composed in a Theme & Variation format. Available in book or pdf at:
The two volumes of Christmas Carols for Unaccompanied Violin that Patricia is referring to are also on sale at Johnson String Instrument.
May I suggest the following which I originally arranged for my own quartet when doing Christmas gigging:
Martha Yasuda! Wonderful arrangements, and she has a lot of options, for duets, solo with double-stops and quartet. Check out her stuff here:
Mary Ellen: thank you SO much for pointing out Last Resort! I'd just about given up on finding arrangements for clarinet/viola/piano trio. Went there and looked, and they have 'em, in quite a variety.