American Band Journal 75 - Christmas 2015

American Band Journal 75th Edition – Christmas 2015
USA Eastern Territory Music Department

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No. 322 – Adeste Fidelis: March of the Three Kings (Franz Liszt, arr. Ronald Holz)

Between 1874 and 1876, Franz Liszt, the great 19th-century pianist and composer, wrote a 12-movement Christmas Tree Suite, which he released in two volumes of six movements each. Liszt published the suite for piano solo and piano duet; he also orchestrated several of the movements for larger ensembles. Adeste Fidelis: March of the Three Kings appears as the fourth movement in Volume 1 and is typical of the short character piece that flourished in the hands of the Romantics. Liszt combines his own original march music in minor mode with the familiar Latin carol known in English as “O Come, All Ye Faithful”. The work starts softly, perhaps intentionally mysterious, but gradually builds in volume and then in tempo to a celebratory finish, the Wise Men perhaps rejoicing at their arrival in Bethlehem.

No. 323 – Trombone Solo – O Christmas Tree! (German folk melody, arr. Dorothy Gates)

The trombone solo O Christmas Tree! was written at the request of Staff Bandmaster Ronald Waiksnoris. He specifically requested a slow, gentle version. This is indeed a slow, gentle arrangement of the well-known carol. My the gentle sonorities and movement fill your heart.

No. 324 – Once in Royal David’s City (Henry John Gaountlet, arr. Brian Bowen)

This classic carol, with words by Cecil Francis Alexander (1818 – 1895) is a favorite of both young and old.

No. 325 – On the Christmas Tree (Traditional German carol, arr. Ruben Schmidt)

This is a well-known Christmas carol in Germany entitled “Am Weihnachtsbaum die Lichter Brennen”. It is very light and festive.

No. 326 – Trombone Feature – We Three Kings (John Henry Hopkins, arr. Nick Simmons-Smith)

We Three Kings was written shortly after the passing of jazz legend Dave Brubeck in December 2012. Brubeck was known for his experimentation in different meters, including Blue Rondo a la Turk, Unsquare Dance, and, most famously, Take Five, on which this arrangement is stylized. The trombones take the haunting melody of the popular carol “We Three Kings” into a groovy 5/4 swing rhythm.

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