“….And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!” (Dickens, A Christmas Carol)
Listening to Christmas carols played by a brass band on a sidewalk is a fond memory. You do not see these bands much anymore but the music they played really created festive atmosphere. One find some years back was a cd of the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble titled A Festival of Carols in Brass. What a find it was. It brought back many warm memories and still resonates today. Playing it for friends also seems to invoke a feeling of nostalgia as well.
So for your Friday, here is the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble with two of my favorites Deck The Halls and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing is a popular Christmas carol but the version you hear today is not the original version. In 1793 Charles Wesley, the brother of Methodist Church founder John Wesley, wanted the tune to be slow and solemn. So it was a very different song people heard back then. In 1840, Felix Mendelssohn composed a cantata to commemorate the invention of the printing press. English musician William H. Cummings adapted this cantata to fit the lyrics of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing which is the carol known today. The YouTube video is a performance by Amy Grant with Art Garfunkel on her Christmas special in 1986. Amy Grant’s performance of this song is considered by many the strongest voices of this song in recent years. Enjoy!