Three Carols was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic as part of their Holiday Brass series and was premiered at Avery Fisher Hall by the New York Philharmonic Principal Brass and Canadian Brass. Originally for 10 players, soon after the premiere I decided to score the piece for brass band. The brass band version was first performed by the New York Staff Band.
Through the years I have been intrigued by carious carols from different countries and the challenge of creating musical treatments that sound fresh and original. When commissioned to write these brass arrangements, I wanted to create contrasting movements that could be performed either as a set or individually and thought that three carols from different countries would allow the opportunity for that contrast. The featured carols are the traditional Polish carol Infant Holy (C.C. 41), What child is this? (C.C. 100) with lyrics by William Dix and set to the English folk song Greensleeves and the lesser-known Catalonian carol Cold December flies away.
- Joseph Turrin