This work, When Christ Was Born of Mary Free, sets the words of a traditional carol dating from the 15th century sensitively in D minor for the verse, moving to a more joyous F for the Chorus. Darke’s papers list this piece as having been scored for Soprano solo, Chorus SATB and Piano.
Harold E Darke was an English composer and Organist of international renown. Darke composed extensively for choir and Organ. In 1916, he established the Monday lunchtime Organ recitals at St Michael’s Cornhill which continue to this day, the longest-running such series in the world. His setting of Christina Rosetti’s poem In the Bleak Midwinter created a melody and lilting Organ accompaniment that has never fallen from favour. It is regarded as one of the greatest of Christmas carols.