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Christmas Wonderland

Christmas Wonderland

  • Door Jelani Eddington
  • Release 24-11-2009
  • Muziekgenre Easy Listening
  • Media-indeling CD
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Prijs: € 18,93

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Christmas means music. For centuries people all over the world have gathered to sing songs of hope, love, and peace on earth in this season of joy. Holiday music often falls into two distinct categories-secular and religious. Some collections showcase familiar popular Christmas tunes, while others feature the great carols and hymns so often heard during the holiday season. In selecting the music for this album, we have tried to draw from music in these very different genres-from popular holiday favorites, to the beloved hymns of the season, and even some of the great classical music associated with the holidays. It seemed an easy choice to begin a holiday album with one of the best known compositions of the season, Sleigh Ride. Although Leroy Anderson did not compose this tune exclusively for the Christmas season, this descriptive composition, so characteristic of Anderson's inimitable style, has become frequently associated with the holidays. Moreover, this tune serves as one of the rare occasions in which an organist can show off the sleigh bells in a concert arrangement. In 1946, Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne composed the familiar melody, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!. The arrangement on this recording portrays this tune both in a traditional lilting feel, as well as in a jazzy improvisational mood in the second chorus. Few popular holiday tunes occupy such a special place in our hearts as the Irving Berlin standard, White Christmas. Composed in 1942, this ballad has appeared in a variety of shows such as Holiday Inn, Blue Skies, and (of course) White Christmas. The Van Der Molen Wonder Morton sings forth in a solo rendition of a great up-tempo waltz, The Christmas Waltz, a holiday favorite composed in 1954 by the Cahn-Styne duo and made popular by the late Frank Sinatra. It is difficult to imagine the holiday season without enjoying Peter Tchaikovsky's ballet, The Nutcracker. Based on the story by E. T. A. Hoffman, "The Nutcracker and the King of Mice" as revised by French author Alexandre Dumas, the ballet portrays the gift of a life-size nutcracker to a young girl, Clara, by her godfather. At the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, the nutcracker and the toys around the Christmas tree spring to life, and a fierce battle ensues between the nutcracker and a seven-headed Mouse King with his army of mice. Following the defeat of the Mouse King, the nutcracker is magically transformed into a Prince and escorts young Clara to the Land of Sweets, where Clara is entertained by a banquet and an array of characteristic dances. These dances form the basis of the Nutcracker Suite featured on this album. Toyland, composed in 1903 by Victor Herbert and Glen MacDonough, is surely one of the most timeless of popular holiday favorites for both young and old. David expertly shows off the many moods of this beautiful melody in a delicate solo treatment of this work on the Steinway. A more recent, yet no less familiar popular holiday favorite is Winter Wonderland, written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith and popularized in the mid-1940s by the Andrews Sisters. Once again, the jazzy sounds of the Wonder Morton come to the forefront in this arrangement. Many, if not most of the traditional hymn carols associated with the Christmas season originated in Europe, so it seemed appropriate to take the listener on a musical journey through Europe with the European Carol Fantasy featured on this album. This fantasy begins with a treatment of the English Carol, Joy To The World, that is both powerful and subtle, and follows into one of the great German hymns, O Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree). In contrast to these first two hymns, the less well-known Italian melody composed by Pietro Yon, Gesu Bambino, follows. This beautiful carol also draws from the 18th-century English carol composed by John Francis Wade, Adeste Fideles (Oh Come, All Ye Faithful). A very fiery Christmas carol from the Catalàn region of Spain, Fum Fum Fum, provides yet another contrast to Yon's lush melody. The fantasy returns to England for an arrangement of Good Christian Men Rejoice in a treatment that also borrows heavily from a French carol that makes an appearance as a counter-melody in the second chorus, Un Flambeau, Jeanette-Isabelle (Bring A Torch, Jeanette-Isabella). On the way to perhaps the most beloved Christmas carol of all time, Silent Night, the careful listener will hear strains of another familiar German carol, Oh, Du Fröliche. Returning back to France, the Carol Fantasy features the familiar hymn, Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes (Angels We Have Heard On High), which folds into a traditional Polish hymn, Infant Holy, Born So Lowly (W Zlobie Lezy). The powerful French melody, Minuit Chrétiens (O Holy Night), follows, which has always been a personal favorite. As a finale to the Carol Fantasy, we make a final stop back to England where the fantasy began, with an exciting treatment of Hark, The Herald Angels Sing! In an album of contrasting styles, few contrasts could be as stark as returning from a European Carol Fantasy to the strains of the 1934 Haven Gillespie tune, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. Inspired by an arrangement of late theatre organ legend George Wright, this treatment captures the child-like joy and excitement of the holiday season. One can almost hear Santa and his helpers filling the sleigh with toys! Bringing this album to it's conclusion is an arrangement of We Wish You A Merry Christmas that is certain to capture your attention. Because there are so few venues in the world where musicians can have a beautiful theatre pipe organ, and, not one, but two concert grand pianos at their disposal, we would be remiss in not putting them all to good use for this final selection on the album. Through the use of the Z-tronics MIDI interface, Jelani was able to record the organ portion of this arrangement, and then take a seat at the 9' "Model CC" Mason & Hamlin on the right side of the stage to accompany David and the Wonder Morton during playback of the organ. The result is a truly unique 6-hand, 2-feet arrangement of this holiday classic that you are certain to enjoy. We do wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope that the joys and spirit of the holiday season will be yours! The Wheaton-Fox Studio Paul Van Der Molen has been an avid music lover most of his life, so it is certainly no surprise that the Van Der Molen home has always had a room dedicated to music. Many world-renowned pianists and organists, as well as accomplished musicians of all varieties, have performed in concert in the Van Der Molen home. Well over a decade has passed since a recording was released from the Wheaton-Fox Studio. Since that time, many changes have taken place, both in the studio itself and with the instruments it houses. In 1981, Paul Van Der Molen acquired and installed his first theatre pipe organ in his home-a 3-manual, 20-rank Robert Morton originally from the Lowe's Fairmont Theatre in The Bronx, New York. As one of the very first pipe organ residence installations in the Midwest, the instrument quickly got much use, both in a concert setting and as a recording instrument. During the construction of this first music room, Paul's good friend and organ technician Dave Krall jokingly offered the suggestion that the studio should be called "The Wheaton-Fox". The term "Fox" was drawn from the chain of movie palaces of the same name and "Wheaton" was the name of the town in Illinois the Van Der Molen family called home. Not long after, the name found common usage among friends and family, and today Paul and his wife Linda affectionately refer to their music studio - and indeed their home - as The Wheaton-Fox. In the Spring of 1999, Paul and Linda embarked on a major renovation of their home and studio, and the 20 ranks of organ pipes, traps, and percussions went into storage. In anticipation of enlarging the console, Paul donated the 3-manual Robert Morton console to the beautiful Ohio Theatre in Columbus, Ohio for use as a slave console. During the course of the next year and a half, organ builders Clark Wilson, Fred Gollnick, Dave Krall, and Robert Wilhelm worked tirelessly, not only to reinstall the instrument, but to enlarge it as well. By early 2001, the instrument had grown to a size of 26 ranks, and Paul had acquired one of the five so-called "Wonder Morton" consoles for use as the nerve center of the instrument. This beautifully ornate four-manual console started it's life in the Lowe's Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York. Although the condition of the console when Paul acquired it was poor at best, Dave Krall meticulously restored the console, and Tony D'Angelo performed the final painting, gold leafing, and antiquing. One of the major renovations of the music room was the relocation of the pipe chambers from the back of the room to the front. Originally, the console sat on a side wall of the music room, with the chambers to the organist's right-hand side. As redesigned, the music room allows the organ to speak from two chambers on either side of the console with a third percussion chamber in the apex of the ceiling above the console. The reinstallation of the pipework occurred under the leadership of the late Fred Gollnick and Clark Wilson, who serves as tonal consultant for the project and continues to provide invaluable technical and tonal advice and assistance. A basement below the chamber floor houses the 15-horsepower Spencer Orgoblo (which replaced a 10-horsepower Spencer) from the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, along with all regulators, reservoirs, and tremulants. Unenclosed sound effects and untuned percussions are located in the ceiling area along with the Xylophone, Sleigh Bells, and Chimes. Allen Miller and Robert Wilhelm integrated the relay, MIDI, and combination action systems for the instrument with the Z-tronics relay that controlled Paul's original instrument. To complete the music room, and in keeping with the Van Der Molen's goals of using the Wheaton-Fox for as wide an array of musical events as possible, a 9-foot "Model D" Steinway concert grand piano (once played and signed by no less than Van Cliburn himself) sits on the stage to the left of the console, and a 9-foot Mason & Hamlin "Model CC" sits on the stage to the right. Even a Hammond B-3 has known to reside on stage of the Wheaton-Fox Studio from time to time. In short, the Wheaton-Fox Studio and the instruments it contains have undergone a remarkable transformation in the past few years. This transformation is truly a testament to the exceptional dedication and support of the arts that the Van Der Molen family has always demonstrated. Chamber Analysis -- 4-manual 26-rank Robert Morton Pitch Rank Chamber 8' English Post Horn Solo 8' Trumpet (W)* Solo 16'-8' Tuba Horn Main 16'-4' Diaphonic Diapason Main 16'-4' Horn Diapason Solo 32'-1' Tibia Clausa (W 16' octave) Solo 8'-2' Tibia Clausa Main 8' French Horn (K) Main 8' Saxophone (W) Solo 8'-4' Clarinet Main 16'-8' Oboe Horn (W 8' octave) Main 16'-8' Cor Anglais (K 8' octave) Main 8' Orchestral Oboe (W) Solo 8' Kinura (K) Solo 8'-4' Concert Violin Main 4' Concert Violin Celeste Main 16'-2' Gamba Solo 8'-4' Gamba Celeste Solo 8'-4' Muted Viol (K) Main 8'-4' Muted Viol Celeste (K) Main 32'-1' Concert Flute Main 4' Concert Flute Celeste Main 8'-4' Vox Humana Solo 8' Vox Humana (W) Main 8'-4' Spitz Flute (M) Solo 4' Spitz Flute Celeste (M) Solo 37 notes Glockenspiel Solo 49 notes Chrysoglott Percussion 49 notes Harp Percussion 85 notes Steinway Model D Concert Grand Piano (playable from console) Unenclosed 49 notes Xylophone Unenclosed 25 notes Chimes Unenclosed 25 notes Tuned Sleigh Bells Unenclosed Large Array of Traps & Effects Unenclosed "W" indicates Wurlitzer, "K" indicates Kimball, and "M" indicates Meyer pipework. About The Dynamic Duo The Jelani Eddington-David Harris "Dynamic Duo" exploded onto the national theatre organ scene during four standing-room-only concerts for the 1999 regional convention of the American Theatre Organ Society in Wichita, Kansas. Since that time, and in addition to their careers as solo musicians, Jelani and David have concertized together throughout the United States and abroad, presenting their inimitable organ and piano arrangements to diverse audiences worldwide. In addition to their combined musical performances, both musicians have enjoyed extensive careers as solo musicians as well. Jelani Eddington, no stranger to theatre organ audiences, has easily established himself as one of the most prominent and sought-after artists on the concert circuit today. Jelani has performed in most of the major concert venues throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, Wales, Scotland, Holland, France, and Germany, and has received numerous awards and recognitions, including his selection as the 2001 Theatre Organist Of The Year. Born in 1974 in Muncie, Indiana to Louise Eddington and the late Robert Eddington, Jelani grew up in a very musical family. Shortly after beginning piano instruction at the age of four, Jelani began studying classical piano under the direction of his grandmother, Florence Arnold. At the age of eight, a trip to hear the 4-manual 42-rank Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ formerly installed in the Indianapolis, Indiana restaurant, the Paramount Music Palace, introduced Jelani to the sounds of the theatre pipe organ. Soon thereafter, he began to pursue classical organ lessons and ultimately began studying theatre organ under the direction of John Ferguson, whose skills as a theatre organ instructor have been highly acclaimed internationally. In the Spring of 1988 at the age of 13, Jelani won the American Theatre Organ Society's Young Theatre Organist Competition and remains the youngest competitor ever to win this title. Jelani went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Indiana University in 1996 and later received a Juris Doctor degree from the Yale Law School, after which time he was admitted to practice law in New York State. In August 2001, the American Theatre Organ Society honored Jelani's extensive career as a concert and recording organist by naming him the 2001 Theatre Organist Of The Year. Having received the award at the age of 27, Jelani once again retains the distinction of being the youngest-ever recipient of this prestigious honor. David Harris is also a consummate musician with a highly varied and diverse background. Born in 1970 in the Kansas City area, David demonstrated an interest in music at a very young age. By the age of 2, he began playing the piano and took up lessons shortly thereafter. At the age of 18, David moved to Wichita, Kansas where he received degrees in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from Wichita State University. While in Wichita, David quickly established himself as a society pianist and served as the resident music director and house pianist for many respected establishments, including the Crown Uptown Professional Dinner Theatre, and the Empire House Restaurant and Theater, where he served as music director for numerous musicals. In January of 1999, David moved from Kansas to the East Coast, where he served as music director and pianist for Unity Church of Sussex County in Lafayette, New Jersey, organist and choirmaster at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Fairfield, Connecticut, and most recently director of music and organist at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Fairfield, Connecticut. David has also served as pianist for three Off-Broadway musical productions at the York Theatre Company in New York City, including Taking A Chance On Love, Postcards On Parade, and The Grass Harp. Moreover, David has worked as arranger and orchestrator for many organizations, including the prestigious Rodgers & Hammerstein Foundation in New York City. In addition to local theatre projects David is often seen performing at private parties, restaurants, piano bars and cabarets in the greater New York City and Connecticut area. A Personal Note From Steve LaManna Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure of hearing and working with Jelani and David in numerous concert situations, and I can easily wager that you, the listener, will keep this album in the CD carousel throughout the entire holiday season! When Jelani and David first told me that they were planning a holiday album, I don't think they were prepared for the jubilant response they got from me. Christmas is, and always has been, my favorite time of year. I also knew, based on my familiarity with these musicians' abilities to select, arrange and perform together, that this album would be a recording that you will repeatedly and tirelessly listen to and appreciate. I am also proud to count Paul and Linda Van Der Molen among my friends. The Wheaton-Fox is a unique combination of music and hospitality that envelops and overwhelms you, even when you first walk inside, and it has been a pleasure to get to know this couple over the past few years. Some of the greatest pleasure I derive in this world is witnessing, and, in some cases, being involved in the creative process. This project is about the best it can get. SPECIAL THANKS Recording and Technical Engineers: Michael Coup, Steve Falke & Cornerstone Studios Graphic Design: Scott Smith Productions, Advanced Imaging Studios Production Assistance: Paul & Linda Van Der Molen, Steve LaManna Organ Preparation and Maintenance: Clark Wilson, Jim Gruber Piano Preparation and Maintenance: Mark Cappelli Photography: Peter Hogrefe.

Details

Kunstenaar: Jelani Eddington
Titel: Christmas Wonderland
Genre: Easy Listening
Releasedatum: 24-11-2009
Label: CD Baby
Media-indeling: CD
UPC: 858062001035