Pat-a-Carol (Pat-a-Pan and Carol of the Bells)
Composer of Pat-a-Pan: Bernard de La Monnoye
Composer of the Bells: Mykola Leontovych
Arranged for Flute Choir by Judy Nishimura
Scored for Piccolo, 3 C Flutes, Alto Flute and Bass Flute
Published by Alry Publications
Includes score and parts
This short piece was intended to be an overture – a quick, bright start to a Christmas concert. Even though the entire work is written in minor keys, there's nothing brooding or sad about it. I like to think of it as “jolly minor mode.” Starting with the famous burbling flutes from Smetana's “Die Moldau,” the holiday tunes begin in earnest when Mykola Leontovych's “Carol of the Bells” takes center stage.
The contrasting middle section is another minor melody, “Pat-a-Pan” from 18th c. French composer Bernard Monnoye. Led by the piccolo piper, this little march section would benefit from simple percussion accompaniment by tambourine, triangle, or finger cymbals, if you have them.
The last section returns to the “Carol of the Bells.” Sharp ears will recognize sly quotes from Mendelssohn's “Scherzo” from A Midsummer Night's Dream. The overall effect is almost like “Danse Macabre,” but it's all over before anyone can really make the connection. In the end, I hope your audience will feel that they've heard two familiar tunes presented in a very different way.
– Judy Nishimura