Martin Fairbank, Musician and Composer

 

Catalogue of Choral Compositions



A Christmas Lullaby1
1987
SATB a cappella
3:15
CAD $2.25
USD $1.70
  A Christmas Lullaby  

An original carol in four verses about the birth of Jesus, its interesting chromatic harmonies are a nice challenge for amateur choirs, and the basses get to sing the tune in verse 3. The piece won honourable mention in the Toronto Amadeus Choir's Christmas Carol Competition in 1987. A YouTube version, has been recorded by Ottawa's Stairwell Carollers.



A Child y-born
2011
SATB a cappella
2:05
CAD $1.50
USD $1.10
  A Child y-born  

This is a contemporary setting of a carol whose words come from the 16th century. In the third verse, while the sopranos sing the melody, the tenor and bass bounce the tune back and forth in canon form.


Bell Carol2
1988
SATB a cappella (divisi A&T)
2:30
CAD $1.75
USD $1.30
  Bell Carol  

This original carol celebrates the Christmas season with the sound of bells, and contains four verses, each with a different harmony. It won honourable mention in the Toronto Amadeus Choir's Christmas Carol Competition in 1988.


Dona nobis pacem
2019
SATB a cappella
2:10
CAD $1.50
USD $1.15
  Dona Nobis Pacem  

This is a setting of the familiar Latin text (Give us peace) that is relatively easy to learn.



How Sweet the Moonlight3
2015
SATB a cappella
4:00
CAD $2.50
USD $1.90
  How Sweet the Moonlight  

This piece, which won honourable mention in the 2015 New Works competition held by the Da Capo Chamber Choir of Waterloo, Ontario, is set to words from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. Jury members commended the work for its attention to the meaning and message of the text, and for capturing the essence of the mood of the text in its overall aesthetic. It was described as a very appealing piece that provides sustained interest and appreciation from the first reading through subsequent revisits. Comments referred to the wonderful choice of text and the composer's setting of it, the lovely harmonies and the good dynamic contrast within the work. It is pleasingly and satisfyingly idiomatic.



Nesciens mater
2018
SATB a cappella
3:15
CAD $2.25
USD $1.70
  Nesciens mater  

The words of this piece are from an Antiphon performed during Advent in the Sarum rite, a medieval church rite centred at Salisbury and written around 1300 A.D. The first line of the plainchant is harmonized in polyphonic fashion using a Cantus firmus style. The climax of the piece comes in the middle as each part repeats the line Ipsum regem angelorum (the king of angels) and its triplet motif.



O Magnum mysterium
2013
SATB a cappella
3:00
CAD $2.00
USD $1.50
  O Magnum Mysterium  

This is a polyphonic setting of the Advent text, inspired by the settings by Thomas da Victoria and Morten Lauridsen, in the composer's own unique style.


O Sapientia
2017
SATB a cappella; divisi all parts
4:10
CAD $2.50
USD $1.90
  O Sapientia  

The words of this carol are from the O Antiphons used during Vespers for the last seven days of Advent. O Sapientia (O Wisdom) is the first of these antiphons, sung in the original Gregorian chant setting on December 17th. It uses the original first line of the Gregorian chant as a Cantus firmus and then builds harmonies around this phrase.



Printemps
2015
SATB a cappella
3:05
CAD $2.00
USD $1.50
  Printemps  

This is a setting of a poem about spring written by Victor Hugo. The piece is like a series of musical tableaux describing different spring scenes, separated by interesting key changes as the scenery changes.



See amid the winter's snow
2006
SATB a cappella; A,T and B divisi
2:35
CAD $1.75
USD $1.30
  See Amid the Winter's Snow  

This is a contemporary setting of the carol whose words were written by Edward Caswall (1814-1878).



Summer Song
2010
SATB a cappella with some divisi
2:10
CAD $1.50
USD $1.15
  Summer Song  

This piece, to a poem written by Alice Anne Gordon, describes the sights of nature in summer, and contains lush tonal clusters and note patterns that reflect the words.



Take Five Merry Gentlemen
2002
SATB a cappella; T divisi
2:20
CAD $1.50
USD $1.15
  Take Five Merry Gentlemen  

This piece takes inspiration from Take Five, made famous by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, playfully mixing its bass line with a 5/4 setting of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen as inspired by George Shearing in his 1998 setting.



The Darkling Thrush
2018
SATB a cappella
3:20
CAD $2.25
USD $1.70
  The Darkling Thrush  

The text for this piece is a poem written by Thomas Hardy about a desolate winter landscape as evening sets in. As a thrush comes and sings a joyful tune, the mood shifts from minor to major, and the narrator is moved by the birdsong to become more optimistic.


There were shepherds
2009
SATB a cappella, A divisi
2:10
CAD $1.50
USD $1.15
  There were shepherds  

This original Christmas carol tells the story of the shepherds on the night of Jesus' birth, including the song of the angels singing Gloria.



You can listen to all of these pieces at https://soundcloud.com/martin-fairbank.

Practice files are also available in .mid or .mp3 format. Visit our store page for more information.

  1. Winner, Honourable Mention, Amadeus Choir Christmas Carol Competition, 1987.
  2. Winner, Honourable Mention, Amadeus Choir Christmas Carol Competition, 1988.
  3. Winner, Honourable Mention, Da Capo Choir New Works Competition, 2015.         
 

 
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This page was last modified on February 19, 2020.