This arrangement of 'Away in a Manger' by Rebecca Faith incorporates two traditional melodies woven together seamlessly to create a refreshing interpretation of a universally familiar song. A verse of the traditional American tune is heard first on the piano before being interrupted by the flute taking over with the British melody.
Piano interludes of the American themes return but never in full until the end of the piece where it returns to its original starting point. As much as the familiar melodies are recognisable they are laced with jazzy harmonies and a nonchalant improvisatory style. All of Rebecca's Christmas Carol arrangements are fresh, exciting and uniquely crafted, and are very much for the concert platform rather than a sing-along or play-along at home with Dad playing the piano part.
These beautiful arrangements require work on the part of both flautist and pianist, as with a demanding accompaniment they are very much a duo. The majority are for the advanced flautist, minimum grade 6-7 standard, as there are some complicated rhythms, flutter tonguing and technically challenging jazzy-style passages.
Highly recommended and well received by audiences there is nothing else available like them, and so these challenging yet thoroughly enjoyable arrangements fill a gap in the market and are an effective and welcome addition to the repertoire, providing some festive music with a rather different flavour, away from the usual standard melody with accompaniment.
The collection of 10 Christmas Carols was written for the flute and piano duo 'Tranquillo', who recorded them as their debut album 'Tranquillo Christmas' in 2010, a CD that has attracted some excellent reviews and can be purchased for £10 (plus P&P) from www.tranquilloduo.com
Review: "Rebecca has taken both the British and the American version of 'Away in a Manger' and cleverly blended them into one beautiful arrangement of this traditional carol. The solo piano interludes bring out the American melody, whereas the British theme is given to the flute. It is a pleasure to play an arrangement where both instruments are of equal importance. Whilst the laid back melodies and jazz harmonies make for easy listening, there are plenty of challenges for both players and it is a refreshing change to the many easy arrangements available. We would highly recommend this carol as part of your Christmas repertoire!" - Sarah Waycott & Hannah Mitchell of Tranquillo, November 2012
Review: "Rebecca's arrangement of 'Away in a Manger' has a calm and gentle feel to it, and as the tempo suggests, 'relaxed'. The piano opens with an introduction before the flute takes a verse of the carol soaring into the high octave. The music then goes into an effective variation with some decoration of the tune and a number of running semi-quaver passages in the flute part across the middle and high octave of the flute, then returning to a coda-like recapitulation of the melody. The accompaniment is fairly straight-forward and more so than her other carol arrangements, perhaps making it more accessible for a grade 6ish student to perform at a school Christmas concert. Very different flavour and great addition to the flute Christmas repertoire, and one I look forward to including in a Christmas recital." - Rachel Smith, November 2012