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The Holy Boy

orchestral version by John Ireland

The Holy Boy was one of Ireland’s most popular works and caught the imagination of a wide public. Originally written for piano on Christmas Day 1913 and later prefaced by the description ‘Carol’, it was grouped together as the third of Four Preludes. Although the apparent subject is the birth of Christ, the title has a double meaning since its true inspiration was Bobby Glasby, one of Ireland’s choristers at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea, where he was organist from 1904 to 1926. Such was the piece’s success that several arrangements were made, by Ireland and others. Strangely though, this version for violin and piano that Ireland made in 1919 was never published.

from notes by Andrew Burn © 1996


A Christmas Celebration
Studio Master: CDHLL7545Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Ireland: The complete music for violin and piano
CDA66853Archive Service

Track-specific metadata for CDA66853 track 10

Recording date
16 December 1995
Recording venue
St Paul's Church, Langton Road, Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Ireland: The complete music for violin and piano (CDA66853)
    Disc 1 Track 10
    Release date: August 1996
    Deletion date: June 2004
    Archive Service
  2. Ireland: The complete music for violin and piano (CDH55164)
    Disc 1 Track 10
    Release date: June 2004
    Deletion date: May 2012
    Superseded by CDA66853
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