"Suite of Carols for String Orchestra"
by Leroy Anderson

Complete reference: official website, recordings, audio files, published music, performances

Composition:  "Suite of Carols for String Orchestra"
Arranger:  Leroy Anderson
Completed:  June 12, 1955 Woodbury, Connecticut
Instrumentation:  Symphony Orchestra
Structure:  Suite
First Performed:  June 12, 1950, ; Leroy Anderson, conductor;

Suite of Carols for String Orchestra 1955 (11:52)

Recordings in Chronological Order:
  1. "A Leroy Anderson Christmas" (Decca); Recorded in 1959 for Decca Records by Leroy Anderson conducting a studio orchestra in New York, New York.

  2. "Leroy Anderson: Complete Works" (Naxos); Recorded in 2007 for Naxos Records by Leonard Slatkin conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra at Watford Colosseum in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, U.K.

Composer quote:

"I had the idea of making a more intimate treatment of other Christmas carols; at the same time, however, I didn't just want to make medleys of them, that's the usual thing.

  In treating them instrumentally, I thought I'd try to get something that would give a little more scope and be a little different.

  So, after thinking it over, I decided that I would make a suite of carols. Except that the one suite turned out to be three suites because of the fact that carols have a great deal of variety.

  It seemed that one particular carol would sound best with string orchestra, and another one would sound much better with a brass choir, and another would call for the color that you get from woodwinds;

  I finally finished by writing three suites of carols, three different ones; one is for string orchestra, one for brass choir, and one for woodwind ensemble. I took about 18 or 19 of these carols and divided them up and made them into the three suites."

    - Leroy Anderson, December 12, 19701


1. Video interview by Dick Bertel for CBS Channel-3 (Hartford, Connecticut); Recorded December 12, 1970, Leroy Anderson House, Woodbury, Connecticut © Leroy Anderson Foundation, Inc.

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