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1. Star of Wonder 0:24
2. Gower Wassail / Gloucestershire Wassail 3:18
6. Gesù Bambino 3:17
7. Hark, Hark What News / Dublin Bells 3:18
8. Frosty's Favorite / Housetop Hornpipe / The Blazing Yule 3:42
10. Noel Nouvelet! / Patapan 3:30
11. Courante 3:51
13. Still, Still, Still 3:14
14. Verbum Caro Factum Est / Angelus ad Virginem 2:34
16. The Four Seasons: Winter, 2nd Movement / Joy to the World 4:59
17. Star of Wonder 1:28
Total time: 57:00
Produced by Jody Marshall, with assistance from Chris Murphy.
Engineered and digitally edited by Chris Murphy, RHL Audio. www.rhlaudio.com
Paul Oorts - guitars, cittern, mandobass, mandocello
Notes on the Tracks:
1. Star of Wonder (© Jody Marshall/BMI)
2. Gower Wassail (trad. English) / Gloucestershire Wassail (trad. English) - The tradition of wassailing is the
ancestor of door-to-door Christmas caroling. Wassailers would offer good cheer and a song in exchange for a hot-spiced
drink (wassail) and other goodies from the homes of feudal lords. The tradition is thought to have originated in the middle ages
3. Nutcracker Mini-Suite (P. I. Tchaikovsky): Dance of the Reed-Flutes / Russian Dance - Two of my favorites from
the Christmas ballet.
4. Sankt Staffan Han Rider (trad. Swedish) / Carol of the Bells (trad. Ukrainian) - The first tune in this medley is
based on a Swedish ballad, the title of which translates as "Saint Stephen Rides Out." The song describes how
St. Stephen was riding his horse when he saw the Star of the East shining over Bethlehem. "Carol of the Bells" started
out life as a Ukrainian well-wishing song predicting good fortune. It was typically sung in mid-January, at the beginning of the
Julian - calendar new year. It became associated with Christmas in this country in the 1930s, when an American choir
director named Peter Wilhousky wrote the well-known words depicting ringing bells.
5. Sleigh Ride Set: Winter's Run (© Jody Marshall/BMI) / Troika (S. Prokovief) - The first tune is a musical
representation of my aspiration to someday ride through snowy woods in a real horse-drawn sleigh. The second is Prokofiev's
version of a sleigh ride, from his Lt. Kije Suite ("troika" refers to a three-horse sleigh). Before my brother and sister and
I went downstairs to open presents, our father always set the mood by putting a Christmas tape on his then-state of the
art reel-to-reel player. A jazz version of "Troika" was everyone's favorite.
6. Gesù Bambino (Pietro Yon) - A beautiful piece named for the Christ child, written in the early 20th century by
an Italian organist.
7. Hark, Hark What News (trad. English) / Dublin Bells (© Jody Marshall/BMI) - There are many versions of the
first tune in this set, which is often the first carol sung in English villages during gatherings and Christmas church services. The
second tune was inspired by the stately feel of some of the tunes written by 18th-century harper, Turlough O'Carolan. I maximized
the dulcimer's bell-like tones in both tunes by multi-tracking.
8. Frosty's Favorite / Housetop Hornpipe / The Blazing Yule - I adapted these familiar tunes to give them an Irish
flavor. ("Frosty the Snowman" by Nelson/Rollins, "Up on the Housetop" by B. Hanby, "Deck the
Hall" trad. Welsh).
9. It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (E. H. Sears / R. S. Willis) - I've always loved the simple beauty of this song.
10. Noel Nouvelet! / Patapan - Two French carols. The first dates from at least the 17th century. "Patapan" originated
in the Burgundian region of France and is attributed to Bernard de la Monnoye, a prolific poet of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
11. Courante (anon.) - Though not a Christmas piece per se, to me this lovely dance tune fits right in with the sound
and spirit of the season. It's part of the well-known "Terpsichore" collection, published in 1612 by Michael Praetorius.
12. Merry Greet the Day (words © Grace Griffith and Jody Marshall; music trad. Shetland) / Christmas Day
in the Morning (trad. Shetland) / I Saw Three Ships (trad. English) / As I Sat On a Sunny Bank (trad.
English) / I Saw Three Ships (reprise) - A vocal portrayal of a gentle Christmas morning, followed by a joyous instrumental celebration.
13. Still, Still, Still (trad. Austrian) - The lyrics of this lullaby have several English translations. My favorite version
starts out with a beautiful image that captures the peace of a quiet snowy night:
Still, still, still *One can hear the falling snow
Hammered dulcimer, Celtic harp, fiddle
14. Verbum Caro Factum Est (anon.) / Angelus ad Virginem (anon.)- A medley of two medieval carols, both
originally sung in Latin. The title of the first translates as "The word is made flesh." The second refers to the Angel
Gabriel's appearance to the Virgin Mary to announce the arrival of the Christ child.
15. Ding Dong Swing (arr. Paul Nahay) - A syncopated study of "Ding Dong Merrily on High."
16. The Four Seasons: Winter, 2nd Movement (A. Vivaldi) / Joy to the World (traditional) - Two enduring
seasonal classics. Some people believe the music to "Joy to the World" was based on parts of Handel's Messiah, but
others dispute the claim.
17. Star of Wonder (© Jody Marshall/BMI) - A round for a winter's evening.
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