Diane Taraz | By Candlelight

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Holiday: Folk Folk: Singer/Songwriter Moods: Solo Female Artist
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By Candlelight

by Diane Taraz

Soaring melodies and compelling lyrics spark this wide-ranging celebration of the spirit of Christmas.
Genre: Holiday: Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. By Candlelight
4:24 $0.99
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2. Rise Up, Shepherd
2:04 $0.99
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3. Let It Snow!
2:27 $0.99
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4. Sleepsong
3:33 $0.99
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5. O Magnum Mysterium
4:56 $0.99
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6. Silver Bells
3:50 $0.99
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7. Stille, Stille, Stille
3:25 $0.99
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8. Diraît-On
5:00 $0.99
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9. What You Gonna Call Your Baby / I Wonder as I Wander
5:16 $0.99
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10. Winter Wonderland
2:30 $0.99
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11. The Coventry Carol
3:08 $0.99
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12. Children, Go Where I Send Thee
4:42 $0.99
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13. Your Birthday Song
3:12 $0.99
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14. The Tree of Life
3:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
A wonderful variety of songs to warm a winter’s night. The title track, with new lyrics set to an ancient melody, maintains hope for peace in dark times.

Three vibrant spirituals capture both the joy and the sorrow of the season. Several ancient carols go beautifully on the dulcimer, sparked by Billy Novick’s wistful whistle. There’s a gentle Celtic lullaby to soothe even the most holiday-jangled nerves.

The mood shifts to jazzy fun on “Winter Wonderland,” “Silver Bells,” and “Let It Snow!,” with Larry Luddecke’s piano taking us to church with a gospel vibe, or to New Orleans for some Dr. John blues. Billy’s clarinet and alto sax spice things up, and Peter Tillotson’s soulful bass is spot-on.

Diane adapts two of her favorite choral pieces for solo voice. “O Magnum Mysterium” dives deeply into the mystery of creation, with Diane’s pure soprano balanced by sweet dulcimer and Peter’s velvety bowed bass. For “Diraît-on,” she uses the piano to invoke the harmonies in the four parts of the original, and plays the keyboard herself. Listen intently and you can hear the dulcimer that was recorded first, before Diane added piano. It’s barely there, adding a mist of pentimento, an overpainted sonic shadow.

Then there’s “Your Birthday Song,” which seems to have wandered in from some other recording. Diane just couldn’t wait to send her latest composition out into the world, with Peter tooting away on his Sousaphone. The birthday song is usually sung by candlelight . . .

The final track is Diane’s adaptation of a hymn from the 1700s by Joshua Smith called “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree.” Cider kept New Englanders alive in the centuries before safe water supplies and refrigeration, so they equated a life-giving tree with a life-giving savior. Diane’s changed the lyrics to focus on a metaphorical “Tree of Life,” and her layered vocals revel in the poetry, especially as we “rest awhile.” Like all hymns in previous centuries, Smith’s words were set to many different tunes. This soaring melody by English composer Elizabeth Poston is unforgettably beautiful.

The varying moods of this recording are like having a couple of albums on shuffle play. Enjoy the variety, by candlelight!

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