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A Boy Was Born

Music by Benjamin Britten

A Boy Was Born (published as A Boy was Born[, Op. 3, is a choral composition by Benjamin Britten. The Choral variations for men's, women's and boys' voices, unaccompanied (organ ad lib) was originally composed from 1932 to 1933. It was first performed on 23 February 1934 as a BBC broadcast. Britten revised the work in 1955. The composer set different texts related to Christmas to music as theme and variations, scored for an a cappella choir with boys' voices.

    Release Date: 1932


A Boy Was Born

A Boy Was Born

No. 3 in the three movement work Nativity Suite (each movement published separately), in this setting of the traditional 16th century poem, the instruments express the sentiment that animates the choir's words in ways that voices are incapable of doing. The repeated alleluias at the close of each verse are resounding exclamations of joy, with harmonies made up of as many as eleven voice parts.

Voicing: SATB



Songbooks, Arrangements and/or Media

Displaying 1-8 of 8 items.


John Rutter / David Willcocks : Carols for Choirs : SATB : 01 Songbook : John Rutter : 0193532271

John Rutter / David Willcocks : Carols for Choirs

This is a selection of the best-loved carols and hymns for Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, and Easter: 74 of the most popular titles from Carols for Choirs 1, 2 and 3, plus 26 titles new to the series. There are carols suitable for both sacred and secular occasions, and both accompanied and unaccompanied material. The Order of Service for a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is included.

Songlist: A Boy Was Born, A Christmas Carol, A Great and Mighty Wonder, A Merry Christmas, A Virgin Most Pure, Adeste Fideles, All Men Draw Near, And There Were Sheperds, Angels from the Realms of Glory, As with Gladness Men of Old, Away in a Manger, Away in a Manger, Blessed be that Maid Mary, The Blessed Son of God, The Boar's Head Carol, Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light, Carol with Lullaby, Conventry Carol, Conventry Carol, Ding Dong! Merrily on High First Nowell, Gallery Carol, Girls and Boys Leave your Toys, Gloucestershire Wassail, God Rest You Merry Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas

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Voicing: SATB | 9087b | Songbook | $21.95 | Primarily a cappella


Reginald Jacques (editor) : Carols for Choirs Vol 1 : SATB : 01 Songbook : 9780193532229

Reginald Jacques (editor) : Carols for Choirs Vol 1

The volumes of Carols For Choirs have established themselves as the quintessential carol books for carol singimng around the world. Each volume presents a wide range of carols to suit every occasion, from well-known tunes superbly arranged to the best original compositions. 50 carols for mixed choir, including full text of the traditional Nine Lessons printed as an Appendix.

Songlist: A Boy Was Born, A Christmas Carol , A Great And Mighty Wonder, A Merry Christmas, A Virgin Most Pure, Adeste Fideles, All Men Draw Near, And There Were Shepards, Angels From The Realms Of Glory, As With Gladness Men Of Old, Away In A Manager, Blessed Be That Maid Mary, Blessed Son Of God, Boar's Head Carol, Crol, With Lullaby, Coventry Carol, Ding Dong! Merrily on High, The First Noel, Gallery Carol, Girls And Boys, Leave Your Toys, Gloucestershire Wassail, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Good King Wenceslas, A Great And Mighty Wonder, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Holly And The Ivy, I Saw Three Ships, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, In Dulci Jubilo, Infant Holy, Infant Lowly, and more

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Voicing: SATB | 9088b | Songbook | $22.98 | Primarily a cappella


Corydon Singers : Benjamin Britten : 00  1 CD : Matthew Best : CDH55307

Corydon Singers : Benjamin Britten

In the catalogue of Britten's compositions those involving a chorus, often without instrumental or orchestral accompaniment loom large. They stretch right across his working life, beginning in 1929 and ending in the Op 95 his last completed score finished a few months before his death. The four pieces recorded here belong in the first half of that period, the earliest of them dates from 1933, the latest from 1949, perhaps his most productive period. Mathew Best, as usual, does a wonderful job bringing these works to life.

Songlist: Rejoice In The Lamb, A Wedding Anthem, Festival Te Deum, A Boy Was Born

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8671c | 1 CD | $11.95 | A Cappella


Dale Warland Singers : Christmas Echoes Vol 2 : 00  1 CD : Dale Warland : 49231

Dale Warland Singers : Christmas Echoes Vol 2

Volume II of the reissue, by popular demand, of a classic pair of Christmas CDs, long out of print, by the renowned Dale Warland Singers. 29 songs: "The Holly and the Ivy," "A Savior from on High," "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree," "On Christmas Night," "Wexford Carol," "Lullay, My Liking," "Sing We Now of Christmas," "Christmas Lullaby," "The Kings and the Shepherds," "There Is No Rose of Such Virtue," "Lullaby, Dear Jesus," "How Far Is It to Bethlehem," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," "A Boy Was Born," "Lo! How a Rose E'er Blooming," "Manger Dance" and many more. A classic!

Songlist: The Holly and the Ivy , A Savior from on High , Jesus Christ the Apple Tree , On Christmas Night , Wexford Carol , Lullay, My Liking , Sing We Now of Christmas , Christmas Lullaby , The Kings and the Shepherds , Lullaby, Dear Jesus , How Far Is It to Bethlehem , Hark the Herald Angels Sing , It Came Upon the Midnight Clear , A Boy Was Born, Lo! How a Rose E'er Blooming , Manger Dance, Snow Had Fallen; Christ Was Born , What Cheer, Evergreen , Birthday Carol , Tyrley, Tyrlow, Away in a Manger, Ding Dong! Merrily on High , Cradle Song , The Ship Carol , A New Year Carol

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6777c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella


Pacific Boychoir : Benjamin Britten : 00  1 CD : Kevin Fox

Pacific Boychoir : Benjamin Britten

The most accomplished choristers of Oakland, California's highly-regarded Pacific Boychoir Academy are the Troubadors, who join with The Pacific Collegium, a professional chamber ensemble that combines exceptional vocalists and instrumentalists, to perform three of Benjamin Britten's favorite Christmas pieces. The dramatic, powerful 12-part "A Ceremony of Carols" was written in the middle of WWII, the simple and fetching "Hymn to the Virgin" has been a Christmas favorite since he wrote it while ill in bed at age 16; and the 7-part "A Boy Was Born," was a student exercise by Britten published in 1934 that deals with the nature of innocence and childhood in the Nativity story. Led by director Kevin Fox, the Troubadors handle this eclectic, often difficult material beautifully, and the Collegium, directed by Christopher Kula, adds strong instrumentals and vocals to the mix. This is a lovely, very different kind of Christmas collection of pieces by a master composer.

Songlist: Procession, Wolcum Yole, There Is No Rose, That Yonge Child, Balulalow, As Dew In Aprile, This Little Babe, Interlude, In Freezing Winter Night, Spring Carol, Deo Gracias, Recession, A Hymn To The Virgin, A Boy Was Born , Lullay Jesu, Herod, Jesu As Thou Art Our Saviour, The Three Kings, In The Bleak Mid-Winter, Noel

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8546c | 1 CD | $15.98 | Some a cappella


Sixteen : A Ceremony of Carols : 00  1 CD : Harry Christophers : 16034

Sixteen : A Ceremony of Carols

Britten's A Ceremony of Carols is a masterpiece composed on board ship as Britten returned to England from the U.S.A. in 1948, a touching evocation of boyhood lost but never forgotten. A Boy was Born is a work that first made Britten famous, based on a theme and variations of astonishing ingenuity. The Missa Brevis, written for the boys of Westminster Cathedral, is a gem that in some ways looks forward to the War Requiem which came two years later. 69 minutes.

Songlist: A Ceremony of Carols, Missa Brevis in D, A Boy Was Born

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7938c | 1 CD | $16.98 | A Cappella


Toronto Children's Chorus : <span style="color:red;">A Boy Was Born</span> : 00  1 CD : Jean Ashworth Bartle

Toronto Children's Chorus : A Boy Was Born

The 100+-strong Toronto Children's Chorus, directed by Founder Jean Ashworth Bartle, and lightly accompanied on organ by Ruth W. Henderson, present a program of sacred 20th century Christian Christmas music: "Winter" by Ralph Vaughan Williams, "Brother Heinrich's Christmas" by John Rutter, "Salvator Mundi" by William Mathias, and the title piece by Benjamin Britten. The TCC handles this often difficult, complex, beautiful music with ease and grace. Guest singers are Lois Marshall, Elmer Iseler Singers and MacMillan Singers, and some accompaniment is by members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Lovely, extensive liner notes with all lyrics and details about the composers and the Chorus. A gift of exquisite music for Christmas.

Songlist: "Winter" (Folksongs of the Four Seasons), Brother Heinrich's Christmas (A Fable with Music), Salvator Mundi Christmas Carol Sequence), A Boy Was Born

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6769c | 1 CD | $15.98


UCLA Madrigal Singers : Hark, How The Bells : 00  1 CD : Donn Weiss : cmb 1082

UCLA Madrigal Singers : Hark, How The Bells

The UCLA Madrigal Singers, the 22 member mixed-voice premiere chamber choir led by director/arranger Donn Weiss, brings us this "best-of" holiday album, which represents nearly 25 years of audience favorites, the best-loved Christmas songs heard at Royce Hall and at their traditional Twelfth Night concerts. We of course enjoy standards like "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Deck the Hall," "O Holy Night" and "Stille Nacht," but we particularly like more obscure music like Catherine Bennett's "Christ Child Carol," Benjamin Britten's "Christ Child Carol," the Scottish Carol "Balloo Lammy," Herbert Howells' "A Spotless Rose," the Spanish "Carol of the Birds," Daniel Pinkham's "Come Love We God," the Austrian carol "Still, Still, Still," and the Puerto Rican folksong "De Tierra Legana Venimos." The full, rich sound of the Singers makes "Bells" ring out as a very special and varied Christmas collection. Occasional light accompaniment.

Songlist: Angels We Have Heard on High, Deck the Hall, Christ Child Carol, A Boy Was Born, Baloo Lammy, Flemish Carol, A Spotless Rose, Joy to the World, In the Bleak Midwinter, Carol of the Birds, Come, Love We God, Still, Still, Still, Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella, Carol of the Bells, De Tierra Lejana Venimos, O Holy Night, Love Came Down at Christmas, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, Pat-a-pan, A Christmas, Estampie Natalis, Stille Nacht

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6774c | 1 CD | $15.98


Individual Folios

Displaying 1-2 of 2 items.


A Boy Was Born : SSATBB : Will Todd : Will Todd :  1 CD : 48023025 : 888680070731 : 0851629237

Will Todd : A Boy Was Born

A new carol from composer Will Todd, written for a service of Jazz Carols at St. Martin in the Fields, London. Full of jazz inflections, this restrained and reflective piece will be a valuable addition to the Christmas choral repertoire.

Composer: Will Todd

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Voicing: SSATBB | Sheet Music | $2.50 |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 48023025


A Boy Was Born : SATB : Dale Warland : Dale Warland : Sheet Music : 50600073 : 888680041700 : 1495008444

Dale Warland : A Boy Was Born

No. 3 in the three movement work Nativity Suite (each movement published separately), in this setting of the traditional 16th century poem, the instruments express the sentiment that animates the choir's words in ways that voices are incapable of doing. The repeated alleluias at the close of each verse are resounding exclamations of joy, with harmonies made up of as many as eleven voice parts.

Composer: Dale Warland

More details
Voicing: SATB | Sheet Music | $2.25 | With Piano |
(Minimum order 4 copies)
| 50600073

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