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Richard Franklin | The Christmas Album

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United States - Pennsylvania

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Holiday: Jazz Jazz: Cool Jazz Moods: Featuring Guitar
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The Christmas Album

by Richard Franklin

Cool, modern and varied jazz guitar arrangements of Christmas classics.
Genre: Holiday: Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Good King Wenceslas
3:49 $0.99
2. Lo How a Rose Ere Blooming
3:14 $0.99
3. Joy to the World
4:50 $0.99
4. O Come O Come Emmanuel
4:03 $0.99
5. We Three Kings
2:59 $0.99
6. The First Noel
3:07 $0.99
7. O Little Town of Bethlehem
4:51 $0.99
8. Silent Night
3:43 $0.99
9. In Midnight Silence
3:09 $0.99
10. On Christmas Day
4:52 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
On Christmas Day

This is actually the first time I ever tried to write a Christmas song. Christmas morning when I got up, I picked up a guitar (as I often do in the morning). However, as I started noodling, a new tune emerged. It actually took about an hour or so to work through, as the form and the nuances of the repetition took some sorting through.

As it was Christmas morning, it felt like it was and should be a Christmas song, and even a few snippets of possible lyrics came to mind. The melody & harmony are sort of wistful, so I imagined the song was about someone who could not be home “On Christmas Day” but really wished he could be.

Silent Night

I suppose it was inevitable I would eventually get around to an arrangement of “Silent Night”. This venerable carol — supposedly originally composed with guitar accompaniment because the church organ was in need of repair — might be the most popular of all Christmas songs.

In Midnight's Silence

This is one you may not know. It is called “In Midnight’s Silence” and is a traditional Polish Christmas carol. I only learned of it in the past couple of years, when it turned up in a collection my wife (who is a piano teacher) purchased. We also have friends who with whom we celebrate the holidays every year who know it well.

The First Noel

I’m pretty pleased with how this has turned out. The present arrangement is actually version 2 of this concept, as a couple of years ago I made an arrangement and recording using the same basic idea.

However, this one is thinned down to fewer tracks, which I think works better, and also has more arrangement stuff in it — such as greater dynamic change, breaks, etc. Hopefully this makes it more interesting.

Good King Wenceslas

This is one of the simplest caroles, and my arrangement is similarly not elaborate. Basically I just went for a nice feel and pretty much left it at that.

Lo How a Rose Ere Blooming

This is a hymn dating from 1609 and attributed to Michael Praetorius. A beautiful and simple melody, it has been a favorite since a college Christmas program in which I first heard it.

O Come O Come Emmanuel

I’ve never worked much with this carole before, but have always liked it. It sounds like it is in a minor key — although it’s actually modal. Some think the melody might be 8th century Gregorian in origin. Whatever the case, it is a haunting melody and the modal character is a welcome change from other, overwhelmingly major-keyed, Christmas caroles.



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