Like the Dickens classic itself, Alan Barnes’s ‘Christmas Carol’ has something for everyone. A family night out that is also a treat for the jazz connoisseur; it will delight anyone who loves music or literature – or just Christmas!
This new suite of pieces, touring for the first time this year, takes the audience through the characters and scenes of ‘A Christmas Carol’. Readings from the original Dickens tell the story, and after each scene eight virtuoso musicians bring the characters and scenes to life, switching audiences from hilarity to pathos with a skill that would have done credit to Dickens himself!
A gruff baritone sax plays Scrooge, his lost love Belle is a lyrical alto, his clerk Bob Cratchit a cheery clarinet and Marley’s Ghost walks in the person of a swinging trombone. Just as Scrooge’s ghosts take him on a tour of his life, so the movements of this suite seemed each to have a benevolent presiding ghost, celebrating the spirit of jazz greats past and present.
The music and readings inspire the full range of Dickens’s imagination and emotion: from terror and remorse through to love and then irresistible joy: "God Bless Us Every One!"
Barnes is a true Dickensian and a serious reader of the novels. It is a clear blunder of providence that he was born too late to appear in their pages!
Alan Barnes- saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet