"Carol of the Bells" is derived from a longer choral work by Ukranian composer Mykola Dmytrovich Leontovych (1877-1921). The text for the original work, "Shchedryk" (1916), tells of the legend that on the stroke of midnight on Christmas night all of the bells around the world began to peal joyously. Twenty years after "Shchedryk" was composed, a New Jersey musician Peter Wilhousky who grew up in the Ukraine created the short choral piece "Carol of the Bells" for the famous conductor Arturo Toscanini. "Carol of the Bells" also known as "Ukrainian Carol" has since become a staple of the Christmas Season for both singing and handbell choirs.
The use of chimes starting in ms. 59, the sudden contrasts in dynamics, and the intense build up of sound using both chimes and bells make this arrangement unique and powerful!