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Annapolis Chorale christmas card

Jul 06, 2015




Some carols for you this holiday season!

  • 1. Celebration of Christmas Live Arts Maryland

2. I saw three ships come sailing in on Christmas Day, on Christmas day. . . . On Christmas Day in the morning.In the sailing capital of the world. . . The tune of this carol is a traditional English folk song and the words of this carol (of which there are several versions) were written by wandering minstrels as they travelled through the country. 3. Hark, the Herald Angels Sing! The melody for this familiar carol was composed by the famous Felix Mendelssohn almost a hundred years after Wesley wrote the text. How did the words and music come together? Heres the scoop behind the carol 4. The little known fact is that neither Charles Wesley nor Felix Mendelssohn would have wanted this music to be joined with these words. Felix Mendelssohn, a Jew, had made it very clear that he wanted his music only to be used for secular purposes.MendelssohnWesley 5. Dr. William Cummings Long after both Mendelssohn and Wesley were dead, an organist named Dr. William Cummings, joined the joyous Mendelssohn music with Wesleys profound words to create the carol we know and love today!(By the way, if you hear a slight whirring sound as you sing this is probably just the sound of both Mendelssohn and Wesley turning over in their graves as they hear us sing the words and melody together!) 6. Jingle Bells Did you ever wonder who wrote Jingle Bells? Its one of the first carols we learn as children and is so much a part of our lives that most of us probably never even have thought about the fact that somebody really did write it! 7. James Pierpont and he wrote both words and music for the song which was to be part of a Thanksgiving program at his church in Boston back in 1857. 8. The Christmas SongOne excessively hot afternoon, I drove out to Bob's house [Robert Wells] in Toluca Lake for a work session. The San Fernando Valley, always at least ten degrees warmer than the rest of the town, blistered in the July sun.... I opened the front door and walked in.... I called for Bob. No answer. I walked over to the piano. A writing pad rested on the music board. Written in pencil on the open page were four lines of verse: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire Jack frost nipping at your nose Yuletide carols being sung by a choir And folks dressed up like Eskimos 9. When Bob finally appeared, I asked him about the little poem. "I thought I'd write something to cool myself off. All I could think of was Christmas and cold weather." I took another look at his handiwork. "You know," I said, "this just might make a song." We sat down together at the piano, and, improbable though it may sound, "The Christmas Song" was completed about forty-five minutes later. 10. Does this look familiar? 11. Adeste Fideles O Come, All Ye Faithful So. . . Who gets credit? This is difficult to determine. . . 1. We have heard a faint echo in the Winchester Cathedral organ-loft, thanks to Vincent Novello, who was convinced that the Adeste was composed there by John Reading about the year 1680. 2. Then came a clear evocation, like that of a mocking bird, of the same tune from a Paris theatre in 1744. 3. The next report comes from Dublin a few years later, about the year 1748. Here the Dominican nuns have preserved a floating tradition that the Adeste was sung for the first time in the Channel Row Dominican Priory, shortly after the 1745 rising in the British Isles in favor of Bonnie Prince Charlie. 12. Whoever receives credit O Come, All Ye Faithful remains one of the best beloved carols in the repertoire 13. What do the following have in common?,the Red-Nosed Reindeer a hit for Gene Autry and others Rockin Around the Christmas Tree a hit for Brenda Lee A Holly Jolly Christmas recorded by Burl Ives Silver and Gold 14. Johnny MarksThe brother-in-law of Robert L. May, who wrote the original story of "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," it was he who set the story to music. After failing to sell the song to, among others, Bing Crosby, Marks eventually found a enthusiastic listener in the person of singing cowboy Gene Autry. Autry's Columbia recording of the song, in 1947, became the biggest hit of his career and made both men (and May, who owned the rights to the original story) very wealthy. 15. France bans O Holy NightIn 1847, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure was the commissionaire of wines in a small French town. Known more for his poetry than his church attendance, it probably shocked Placide when his parish priest asked the commissionaire to pen a poem for Christmas mass. Nevertheless, the poet was honored to share his talents with the church. 16. Cappeau decided that his "Cantique de Noel" was not just a poem, but a song in need of a master musician's hand. The poet turned to one of his friends, Adolphe Charles Adams, for help. The lyrics that his friend Cappeau gave him must have challenged the composer in a fashion unlike anything he received from London, Berlin, or St. Petersburg...Adam was Jewish. The words of "Cantique de Noel" represented a day he didn't celebrate and a man he did not view as the son of God. Nevertheless, Adams quickly went to work, attempting to marry an original score to Cappeau's beautiful words. Adams' finished work pleased both poet and priest. The song was performed just three weeks later at a Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve 17. So, why was it banned in France? Initially, "Cantique de Noel" was wholeheartedly accepted by the church in France and the song quickly found its way into various Catholic Christmas services. But when Placide Cappeau walked away from the church and became a part of the socialist movement, and church leaders discovered that Adolphe Adams was a Jew, the song--which had quickly grown to be one of the most beloved Christmas songs in France--was suddenly and uniformly denounced by the church. 18. Enter . . John Sullivan Dwight, AmericanAn ardent abolitionist, Dwight strongly identified with the lines of the third verse: "Truly he taught us to love one another; his law is love and his gospel is peace. Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother; and in his name all oppression shall cease." Published in his magazine, Dwight's English translation of "O Holy Night" quickly found favor in America, especially in the North during the Civil War. 19. Both sides stared at the seemingly crazed man. Boldly standing with no weapon in his hand or at his side, he lifted his eyes to the heavens and sang, "Minuit, Chretiens, c'est l'heure solennelle ou L'Homme Dieu descendit jusqu'a nous," After completing all three verses, a German infantryman climbed out his hiding place and answered with, "Vom Himmel noch, da komm' ich her. Ich bring' euch gute neue Mar, Der guten Mar bring' ich so viel, Davon ich sing'n und sagen will," the beginning of Martin Luther's robust "From Heaven Above to Earth I Come." 20. The story goes that the fighting stopped for the next twentyfour hours while the men on both sides observed a temporary peace in honor of Christmas day. Perhaps this story had a part in the French church once again embracing "Cantique de Noel" in holiday services. 21. In the Bleak Midwinter Christina Rosetti This exquisitely melancholy and evocative carol, imagining the Nativity in a snowy Northern landscape, was originally written by Christina Rossetti as a Christmas poem for an American magazine, Scribners Monthly, in 1872. 22. Harold Darke Harold Darke wrote sacred music, organ and piano pieces, and songs. His setting of In the Bleak Midwinter is still often sung at the service of Nine Lessons and Carols at King's College, Cambridge, and at similar services around the world. 23. Do You Hear What I Hear?Many people mistakenly assume this Christmas classic has been around for years and that it is of European origin. But it was written in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a powerful plea for peace by a man who had experienced the horrors of war. 24. Noel Regney . . . and the rest of the story I had thought Id never write a Christmas song, he recalled. Christmas had become so commercial. But this was the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the studio, the producer was listening to the radio to see if we had been obliterated. En route to my home, I saw two mothers with their babies in strollers. The little angels were looking at each other and smiling. All of a sudden, my mood was extraordinary. 25. and his wife. . . Gloria Shayne Noel wrote a beautiful song, Gloria said later, and I wrote the music. We couldnt sing it, through; it broke us up. We cried. Our little song broke us up. You must realize there was a threat of nuclear war at that time. 26. Pray for peace people everywhere Pray for peace, people everywhere Do You Hear What I Hear? Merry Christmas from Live Arts Maryland, the Annapolis Chorale, The Annapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Annapolis Youth Chorus, and Cantori. 27. Please, support the following patrons of the arts!

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