Sheet music

Musical contribution - December 2014

Christmas-Carol Suite, André van Vliet

You will increasingly come across compilations of Christmas songs during performances in the month of December. The titles can be quite diverse: Christmas Collection, Christmas medley, Potpourri of Christmas songs and the list goes on.

I came across a number of such arrangements when I visited America on behalf of Johannus last year. Inspired by what I saw, I decided to get to work and we can therefore now offer you a true Suite this year: a Christmas Carol Suite. With songs from various countries and times.

The festive opening is a phrase from “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, immediately followed by “Joy to the World”. We can still hear the theme from the opening during the decrescendo in the following 2 bars.

It goes without saying that the old “In dulci jubilo” should form an essential part of a suite. You will be able to achieve a very natural transition if you give the tempo of the quarter note to the eighth note in the next chorale (J.S. Bach arrangement). There is also a tempo relationship with the following song: quarter point becomes a quarter. The setting is by J.S. Bach.

We move along to France via an old dance in minor. At least, that’s what we think. As it’s a French title and this song is often featured in French programmes. But it’s considered to be the oldest Canadian Christmas Song (originated around 1640).

Via an arrangement by the Dutch Hubert Cuypers – who became well known as the KRO broadcast his arrangement of the “Transeamus” for many years – we eventually arrive at the song which we were promised during the first bars: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”.

We can register to our heart’s content. So many variations, so many registrations. And what is a setzer a useful playing aid in these situations.

On behalf of the management team and all of Johannus employees, we would like to wish you a very blessed Festive Season and a healthy and musical 2015.

With Kind Regards,

André van Vliet