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Donald Harris

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Canzona and Carol (1986)
GunMar Music
Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Year Composed
Programme Note
Donald Harris Canzona and Carol (1986)
My Canzona and Carol for Double Brass Quintet and Timpani was written in 1986, on commission from Rhode Island College to honor the inauguration of Dr. Carol Guardo, a close personal friend and former mentor, as its President. The first movement, Canzona, is Gabrielli-influenced, with the traditional Canzona rhythmic motif used throughout. The second movement, Carol, is based upon a medieval 15th-century English carol, "In every state, in every degree." Needless to say, the writing of a carol for a friend, Carol, was not coincidental. The formal construction of the 15th-century carol was preserved, with alternating repetitions of both burden and verse. The original text is worth noting. In every state, in every degree, The meane is the best, as seemeth me. The higher men clemeth, the sorer is the fall; Bankes that low buth, soon overflow; The thunder sounes perisheth castle royal; The meane is the best as seemeth me. Hill that buth high suffereth many showres; A-low upon the earth is merry to be Than in high houses other great towres; The meane is the best, as seemeth me. Where the hedge is lowest, men doth over-skip; To Hew above thy head, it is but vanity, Lest in the eye there fall a chip; The meane is the best, as seemeth me. — Musica Britannica, a National Collection of Music, Volume IV, Medieval Carols, edited by John Stevens; published for the Royal Musical Association, London, Stainer and Bell, Ltd. 1952

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