Simple, Varied Anthems for the Church Year
This past January, Oxford released a collection of anthems to accommodate smaller and more flexible ensembles of singers, The OXFORD BOOK OF EASY FLEXIBLE ANTHEMS, edited by Alan Bullard. The volume contains around 65 anthems old and new by such composers as Thomas Tallis, John Rutter, Bob Chilcott, Mack Wilberg, Will Todd, and Alan Bullard. Melodies and vocal ranges are accessible, and flexibility in the number of vocal parts sung may be determined by the performers. Most anthems can be sung by unison voices, and all anthems can be sung in 2-part flexible arrangements (including the SATB and three-part arrangements in the volume). The repertoire covers the entire Church Year, with the exception of Christmas, and is priced at $21.75. Oxford’s preface states “the emphasis throughout is on practicality, ease of performance, and accessibility, without ever compromising on musical integrity and quality.” The collection is published in both paperback and spiraled paperback editions. Music should be ordered from Peters.
The website to peruse this volume is www.oup.com/flexible. At the least, purchasing two copies of this excellent collection would provide a valuable repertoire for a soloist and accompanist throughout the Church Year.