Joy to the World: Theme and variations for two violins (violin duo)
Title: Joy to the World: Theme and variations for two violins
Composer: unknown, arr. David Gable
Instrumentation: Violin 1 and Violin 2
Printout: 2 pages
Note: Lowell Mason, himself a recognized composer of hymns, attributed this carol to Georg Frideric Handel because of its similarity to two melodic figures in the oratorio The Messiah (the Chorus Lift up your heads and the introduction to the recitative Comfort ye). Modern musicologists consider it more likely that the composer of Joy to the World “borrowed” material from Handel, or that the similarities are pure coincidence. This setting sounds quite virtuosic, but is very manageable for skilled players. Periodic bariolage passages in both parts add to the celebratory character of the carol. It’s an excellent break from the usual hymnal adaptations, ideal for Christmas services and holiday parties.
Please check out the following Christmas duets for two violins: