Bob Chilcott's Wenceslas for Mezzo-Soprano and Baritone soloists, SATB chorus and Piano or Orchestra. Vocal score.
The story of Good King Wenceslas on the Feast of Stephen is presented here as a vivid musical narrative, with solo parts for the characters of Wenceslas (Baritone) and Page (Mezzo-Soprano). Chilcott sets new words by Charles Bennett to a colourful array of styles to recount their snow-bound story. The choir sets the scene before Wenceslas and Page meet in 'Who can that be?', and the story-telling continues in several contrasting movements, including a touching solo ballad from Page entitled 'Thank you' and the strong yet reflective closing movement, 'On St Stephen's Night'. The full five verses of the well-known carol are skilfully interwoven throughout the work in different parts, with the final verse being sung by the audience or a semi-chorus, and the movements are punctuated by an instrumental interlude and triumphant fanfare.