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The Holly & The Ivy


Peter Clark
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'Didn't hear it but the only other version I know is by John Gardener - 'has a sort of 'um cha' backing and goes into parts for the chorus.

 

AJJ

 

Thanks Alastair - that might well be it - it is a little in the vein of his "Tomorrow shall be my dancing day...".

 

Peter

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Yes it was the Gardner setting. There's an orchestral version that sounds better. "Oom-chahs" always sound gross on the organ.

There's a setting of The Holly & The Ivy by Lord Lloyd-Webber in his stage musical version of The Woman In White; it's like a dirge and chiefly in 5/4. A bit reminiscent of Britten's setting of the National Anthem.

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Yes it was the Gardner setting. There's an orchestral version that sounds better. "Oom-chahs" always sound gross on the organ.

Both Gardner's 'The Holly and the Ivy' and 'Tomorrow shall be my dancing day' sound best when accompanied on the piano which, I believe, was how they were - and are - performed at the Christmas Concerts at St Paul's Girls' School, for whom they were written. Outside SPGS, one hardly ever hears the side drum and tambourine with the piano in the introduction and bridge between verses in 'Tomorrow shall be' as the composer intended. Like Francis Jackson, Gardner was 90 this year.

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