Seasonal favourites

December 24th


Nostalgie de Noël by Bernard Désormières is published in AlphaStyles (Van de Welte), the same book ...and composer as Anatolian 08 (ABRSM Grade 4).

December 22nd


Something of a wild-card amongst this collection!

George Washington led his troops across the Delaware River on the night of 25/26th December 1776. Though Independence had been declared on 4th July earlier that year, the battles to boot out the British continued into the early 1780s. There are many paintings depicting this event. The painting that inspired this piece was painted in 1850/51 and somewhat romanticised, is by Emmanuel Gottlieb Leutze.

From Museum Masterpieces, Vol.2 by Catherine Rollin.

December 19th


December, subtitled Christmas, is the twelfth and final movement of The Seasons (op. 37) by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, one piece for each of the 12 months of the year. There are clearly different editions of this, as I learnt after I recorded it! The one I used for the display (from being quite a bit longer than the version I have on my shelf. Oh well!

December 18th


Nikki Iles' arrangement of this wonderful Christmas song, published in Jazz on a Winter's Night (OUP).

December 17th


Let's work out the melody for this song, first sung by Judy Garland in the mid-1940s. The backing track is here too ...and the sheet music, but I'm sure you won't need it!


December 15th


A performance of John Rutter's Christmas Lullaby (1990) for a 'choir' of keyboards. The wind instrument sounds within Logic are better than the human voices so here we have flute, clarinets and bassoon. There is an additional bass part within the accompaniment that I haven't shown on screen.

December 15th


The 4th and final video exploring the 'components' of Silent Night. Here we look at some alternatives to the original harmony.

December 13th


Snowflakes is op.57 no.2 by the Finnish composer Selim Palmgren. The city scene at the end is Helsinki, where Palmgren both studied as a young man and died in 1951, aged 73.

December 11th


Here we add in some dominant 7th chords and suggest some chord inversions for smooth voice leading. One more Silent Night video to go.

December 8th


This evocative piece is the first of 5 that makeup Garreth's December EP.

December 7th


We take a look at which triads fit the melody.

December 6th


Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (1983), directed by Nagisa Oshima starred David Bowie, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tom Conti and Takeshi Kitano. The music was also written by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

December 3rd


Christmas gives a great opportunity for learning some songs by ear, without any sheet music. This is the first of 4 short videos on the carol Silent Night. Here, we work out how to play the melody in the key of C major.