jonadkins Posted December 22, 2007 Share Posted December 22, 2007 Rather than digress in the "Once in Royal/O Come" thread, I thought I would ask these questions here, prompted as I was by pcnd's mention of the Cleobury descant for Once in Royal. Firstly, pcnd, do you use the Cleobury descant yourself, or have you just liked it whenever you've heard it? I have also been reminded of the discussion in the feature section of the DVD from King's, where Cleobury, Philip Ledger and David Willcocks talk about various aspects of their time at the College Chapel. Cleobury mentions a letter he received quite early on, asking "when was he going to revert to the "proper" descants"?! (meaning Willcocks') Ledger then tells a similar tale of a chorister being affronted when he handed out his new descants at a practice. Willcocks then makes the point that perhaps they've made life difficult for the next director of music there because there are only so many (one or two) descants that can be written on a given carol/hymn. I think he has a point, certainly if you don't change the harmonies, but even if you do, it is all too easy to sound as if you're trying too hard to stretch the harmonic possibilties of a tune in an effort to make it sound different from another, established descant, particularly when you bare in mind that you are trying to lead the congregation in worship! Do you agree, and which are the most successful examples? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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