Monday, December 02, 2019

Lee plays Christmas music, Part 2--Epiphany hymns, plus 26 more Christmas selections

We start with seven Epiphany hymns, played by your blogger on his Casio WK-3800, with multi-tracking and MAGIX Audio Cleaning Lab MX effects.

All but two are traditional tunes--meaning, of course, that no one knows who wrote them.  See if you agree that the melody to Touching Grace, We Princes Three is very much like the one used by Simon and Garfunkel for Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.

Wise Men Seeking Jesus is probably my favorite, owing to Alonzo Potter Howard's wonderful march tune (titled "Lonely Midnight").  Now you know.  Anyway, where there were composer credits, I gave them.  Where there were none... I was out of luck.  And someone asked me about the words to these songs and hymns--I'm afraid I don't have time to scan the music.  And these tracks are from 2015, so I don't always know what music I used for a given number.  I have about 400 songbooks and hymnals.

Epiphany is Jan. 6--the 12th day of Christmas.  So technically I'm skipping ahead, but Epiphany hymns and carols are often included in standard Christmas playlists--We Three Kings, for instance.  So, no biggie.  I'm all for not taking things overly seriously for Christmas--the holiday has evolved into a fun event, so I like to keep things loose.  When Santa Time comes around, people just want their Christmas carols and hymns and Tin Pan Alley creations.  Adhering to ancient customs of when to sing this or that tune is old hat.  Whatever I just typed.

Epiphany was originally an Eastern tradition, and, as a Nativity celebration, it was established earlier than Christmas in some places. So it could be called Nativity, Part 2, but I doubt that would ever catch on.  "We're in Nativity, part 2!!"  "We're... what?"

Just below this zip file link and listing is another 26 selections played by me.

DOWNLOAD: Epiphany hymns, played by Lee

1. God Bless You, All
2.  Touching Grace, We Princes Three
3.  Good King Wenceslas
4.  Wise Men Seeking Jesus (Howard)
5.  Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning (Harding)
6.  Tell Us Wise Men
7.  On This Day Earth Shall Ring (Arr: Holst)

Next, twenty-six hymns, carols, and songs played on the Casio WK-3800, most with multi-tracking.  You'll get my own arrangement of Deck the Hall, and a Lee original, NORAD Santa Sighting.  There's also my favorite Epiphany hymn of all, Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne, with words by Emily E. Elliott  (1864) and music by Timothy R. Matthews (1876).  And one of my most downloaded files ever--an 1872 printing of The One Horse Open Sleigh, which of course is better known as Jingle Bells.  It sounded a bit different early on, as you'll hear.  Years ago, as a single file, it was at 1400 downloads.  I've put it up a couple times since, and how many times people have grabbed it since it reached 1400, I do not know.  Also, S.S. Myer's Santa Claus, better known as Up on the Housetop, though it sounds different here.  Neither number is a folk number, yet both no longer sound like they first did.  Maybe, back in the days when copyright laws were far less strict, alterations happened as songs were swiped.

Joy to the World is set to the now-standard tune, Antioch, but the 1860 Harmonia Sacra harmonization is delightfully incorrect (unorthodox) in spots.  It may or may not sound weird to your ears.

Most of the selections from this post come from old hymnals and songbooks, or Christmas carol books from the 1940s or 1950s.  I long ago lost track of what I have in my collection.

DOWNLOAD: 26 Christmas selections by Lee

1.  In dulci jubilo (Arr. Samuel Scheidt)
2.  Deck the Hall
3.  Fum fum fum
4.  Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isacbella
5.  The Christmas Tree (The Casket, Asa Hull, 1865)
6.  Deck the Hall 2 (Arr: Lee Hartsfeld)
7.  Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne (Matthews)
8.  Blessed Be That Maid Marie
9.  NORAD Santa Sighting (Hartsfeld)
10.  Christians Awake, Salute the Happy Morn
11.  Today the Virgin Has Borne a Child (Swedish-Middle Ages)
12.  Come Hither, Ye Children 
13.  Come Thou Precious Ransom Come
14.  Christ Is Born in Bethlehem
15. The Sleigh Ride (J.C. Johnson, Merry Chimes, 1865)
16.  The One Horse Open Sleigh (J. Pierpont, from 1873 songbook)
17.  Star in the East (Harmonia Sacra)
18.  Come Hither, Ye Children
19.  Joy to the World (Antioch, from Harmonia Sacra, 1860)
20.  On the Night When Jesus Came (Polish)
21.  Let the Earth Now Praise the Lord
22.  A Happy New Year (The Casket, Asa Hull, 1865)
23.  Christ Is Born of Maiden Fair (Gauntlet)
24.  Herr Jesu Christ, wahr Mensch und Gott (Zachau)
25.  Christmas Time Is Come Again
26.  Santa Claus (S.S. Myers)

Lee Hartsfeld, Casio WK-3800



barba said...

i just got through listening to billy four and then went into your stuff. you sure play a lot better than he does. no "Charles Ives harmonies" here. and i bet you don't tinkle on the ivory either. (that billy must have been a nervous type.) anyway, merry nativity part 1.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Barba--Thank you!

Lee Hartsfeld said...

And I keep my Casio in a closed off room. That way, the cats don't tinkle on the ivory!

Ernie said...

No tinkling please! If I want tinkling pianos, I'll go listen to George Feyer!