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Featured Articles:11-8-14

Pianonoise presents:
some blogs for the season


Get your warm fuzzies someplace else!
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look what I got you for christmas...a faux pax!
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more scary organ music for the holidays
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Wake Up!
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Roar!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I Survived the St. Paul's School Holiday Concert  (2004)


 Don't your fingers get tired?




A question and answer page for the curious...

THE NOISE
a column about the music of people's lives
this is supposed to be a picture of some dude playing the piano in front of a stained glass window!
 Wedding pages
These are some of my former piano students from Baltimore. Can't see them? sorry about that.
 for students:
Calendar
 Musical Games 

 Erasmus's blog:
In Praise of Chicken
 
 







 Mike's Ballpark
 hotdog review
 
 
 THE PIANONOISE GUIDE TO POLITICAL RHETORIC

The Global
Cliche
Hall of Fame



This week's featured recording:



'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime

How many carols can you think of with the phrase "Gitchi Manitou?" Only one that I know of. This French Canadian melody was given words in 1643, of the language of the Huron/Wyandot tribes. An English translation followed in 1926 that Wikipedia assures me entered the public domain in 2011. So here is the first verse:

'Twas in the moon of winter-time
When all the birds had fled,
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim,
And wandering hunters heard the hymn:
"Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria."

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New on the Blog  
Monday 12/15
It's a story but not really

Wasn't that a nice collection of notes?

Wednesday
12/17
This one really drones on and on


Friday
12/19
Who let that bagpiper in here?
and there was even more rejoicing

Music for the season.....

Nov. 30--Week one (38 min.)
music for piano and organ  (information or various thoughts having little or nothing to do with the pieces can be accessed by clicking on the question marks to the right of each piece.) Merry Listening.

Wesley: The Christmas Carol varied ...
Bartok: Romanian Christmas Carols (set two)
Marteau: Invitation
Bach: Pastorale in F, Bwv 590
  movement one / two / three / four
Liszt: The Shepherds at the Manger
Vaughan Williams: Prelude on "Hyfrydol"
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The Christmas season, despite all of its challenges, is perhaps our favorite time of year. In North America, it is a season of lights, carols, holiday parties, and the mirage of "good will" to everyone. Charitable giving is up, hot cocoa consumption is up, stress and good times are up, and so is that strange bit of vegetation we take into our houses every December. It is a time of remembrance of years past, customs obeyed, hope rekindled, darkness banished through an act of will and the help of the power company.

Music, of course, plays a powerful part in all this. Often it is a very commercial product, or another riff on time-honored tunes we are tired of hearing by mid-November. It is my hope that you'll enjoy some of these less familiar selection, and explore with me some unexpected byways of the Christmas (or not actually Christmas) literature, enjoying the musical responses to this wonderful midwinter feast by so many voices out of Christmas past, and a few from Christmas present as well.

At the start of each week of Advent, beginning Nov. 30, I'll post another half-hour program, and a fifth on Christmas.



Dec. 7--Week two (29 min.)
music for piano and organ  (information or various thoughts having little or nothing to do with the pieces can be accessed by clicking on the question marks to the right of each piece.) Merry Listening.

Bach: Now Come, Savior of the Nations (Bwv 661a)
Marteau: Now Come
Debussy: The Little Shepherd
Buxtehude: How Brightly Shines the Morning Star
Daquin: Noel XII
Gottschalk: Cradle Song
Bach: "Gigue" Fugue
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'Tis the busy time for musicians; nonetheless, I managed to noodle my way through some new carol improvisations to share with you next week. This week, we continue our way through the 90 plus minutes of Christmas music recorded in years past, mostly as offertories and preludes for church services at Faith, or for concert performances, parties, or just because it sounded like too much fun not to share with my pianonoise audience.

The first two of these are based take two different approaches to the same Advent hymn. Claude Debussy makes a cameo with a charming little piece from the "Children's Corner" suite, then Dietrich Buxtehude tells the Christmas Story in sounds: listen for the surprise of the angel chorus, and the joy of the shepherds. The "Swiss" carol by a French organist of the 18th century is followed by a 19th century American pianist's fond remembrance of his sister, and the program concludes with J. S. Bach's Fugue for dancing hands AND feet. You won't be able to hear my untied shoelaces, but that added some drama to the music as well. Until next week, enjoy these sounds for the season.




Dec. 14--Week three (27 min.)
music for piano and organ  (information or various thoughts having little or nothing to do with the pieces can be accessed by clicking on the question marks to the right of each piece.) Merry Listening.

Bach: Wake up! A Voice is Crying
Bach: Now Come, Savior of the Nations (Bwv 659a)
Redford: Now Come, Savior of the Gentiles
Five Improvisations on Christmas Carols (2014)
  He Is Born, the Holy Child
  'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime
  Love Came Down at Christmas
  Cold December Flies Away
  Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
Guilmant: Variations on an Ancient Polish Carol
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michael@pianonoise.com