Two North American Carols
By Andrew Desiderio
These two early American Carols, unified by the use of a passage from “O come, let us adore him,” will shine on any holiday-themed program. Desiderio’s beautiful reimagination of these classic tunes is perfect for any medium-advanced ensemble!
AUDIO & SCORE
FROM THE COMPOSER
Pietro Yon, one of the most respected organists of his time, left his native Italy in 1907 to settle in New York City, where he eventually took up the prestigious post of music director at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He composed “Gesu Bambino”, his best-known composition, in 1917 while serving as director of music at the Church of St. Francis Xavier. He uses the “O come, let us adore Him” passage from “Adeste fidelis” (better known as “O come, all ye faithful) as the basis for the song. In this setting, I used Yon’s basic harmonic structures, but enriched the harmony and took greater advantage of the theme’s inherently canonic nature, as in the “Huron Carol”.
Both of these pieces are in the key of G, and use the “O come, let us adore him” passage as a binding element. Since the string orchestra lends itself particularly well to arrangements of vocal-inspired music, it was a logical choice of instrumentation for a work that I hope musicians and audiences will enjoy.