Gwyneth Walker

Ring Out, Wild Bells

for SATB Chorus and Organ (2006)
for SATB Chorus and Piano (2006)
for SATB Chorus, Brass Quintet, Percussion, and Organ (2008)

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Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SATB and piano) by the Wausau Lyric Choir, Lucinda Thayer, conductor.

Download an MP3 file of a performance of this work (SATB and organ) by the choir of Middle Collegiate Church, Jonathan Dudley, conductor.


Commissioned by The Wausau Lyric Choir Wausau, Wisconsin

Ring Out, Wild Bells is a Christmas anthem on the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The text celebrates the image of bells (represented by cascading "ringing" fourths in the piano accompaniment) to herald both the "going out" of the old year, the "coming in" of the new year, and the birth of Jesus.

Between the verses of the poem, the composer has inserted a refrain, "Come, Lord Jesus." This may be interpreted as the prayer of the awaiting world. The refrain repeats, intermingles with the verses, and ultimately expands into the triumphant, closing "Come, Lord Jesus, Come Emmanuel!"

Notes by the composer