The First Noel

Traditional Christmas Carol: The First Noel.

The First Noel (also known as: The First Nowell) is a traditional English Christmas carol. There is no agreement on its date of origin: for some people it could be from the thirteenth century, although it is more likely to be the seventeenth. Anyway, its first publication dates back to 1823 in Cornwall, southwest of England.

His melody is included, along with those of three other carols –Good Christian Men, Rejoice, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen and Come ye, lofty, eat, and lowly– in the choral fantasy Christmas Day by Gustav Holst.

Transcription for recorder and piano by Massimo Pennesi.

The First Noel

Karaoke.

God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen

English Christmas carol: God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen.

God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen is a traditional English Christmas carol. Its origins seem to date back to the 15th or 16th century, although it was first published at the beginning of the 19th century. It is likely that formerly it was used by groups of workers or children to ask for door-to-door Christmas box. That way it appears in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: in response to the singing, Scrooge grips so strongly one of the singers that he finally escapes in terror.

Transcription for three recorders (one soprano and two double bass) by Massimo Pennesi. In the case, very likely, in which double bass recorders are not available, a piano can play the two staves to accompany the melody of the soprano recorder.

Pentatonix: God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen

After starting with a more traditional first execution, Pentatonix surprises us with a delicious arrangement in the following video clip.

Les Anges dans nos campagnes

Traditional Christmas carol: Les Anges dans nos campagnes (Angels We Have Heard on High).

There is no agreement on the time to which the melody of Les Anges dans nos campagnes goes; the most probable hypothesis is that it is a popular melody of the Languedoc published at the beginning of the 19th century with successive lyrics by different poets.

Transcription for two recorders and piano by Massimo Pennesi.

Les Anges dans nos campagnes

Karaoke (in French).

El noi de la mare

Catalan Christmas carol: El noi de la mare.

El noi de la mare (The Child of the Mother) is a traditional song of Catalonia. It is currently considered as a Christmas carol, although in origin, in the XVIII or XIX century, it was probably a lullaby or a children song, without any connection with Christmas.

Transcription for recorder and piano by Massimo Pennesi.

Andrés Segovia

The guitarist Andrés Segovia, recognized as one of the greatest virtuosos of this instrument of all time, frequently interpreted the following guitar transcription by Miguel Llobet as an encore. In this way, Segovia contributed to this popular Catalan carol becoming known throughout the world.

O Tannenbaum

German Christmas Carol: O Tannenbaum.

O Tannenbaum (German word for Christmas tree) is a traditional Christmas carol. Its melody is a traditional German folk song that dates back to the 16th century. On the other hand, the lyrics, written by the musician and poet Ernst Anschütz, are from 1824.

Transcription for recorder and piano by Massimo Pennesi.

O Tannenbaum

Karaoke (in German).

Deck the Halls

Traditional Christmas Carol: Deck the Halls.

Deck the Halls or Deck the Hall (which is the original version of the lyrics) is a traditional Christmas, Yuletide, and New Years’ carol.
The melody is a Welsh aria belonging to a winter carol, “Nos Galan”, which dates back to the sixteenth century. On the other hand, the English letter, written by Scottish musician Thomas Oliphant, is from 1862.

Transcription for two recorders and piano by Massimo Pennesi.

Deck The Halls – Karaoke with Mickey Mouse

From the film Disney Sing-Along-Songs: Very Merry Christmas Songs (1988).

Tutira Mai

Traditional Maori Song: Tutira Mai.

Tutira Mai Nga Iwi, or simply Tutira Mai, is a waiata, a traditional music by Māori, the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand.

Transcription for recorder and piano by Massimo Pennesi.

 

Mountain View High School: The Choir Farewell Concert 2010.

Watch and learn the gestures: singing like that is more fun!

Waltzing Matilda

Australian bush ballade

On a poem by Andrew Barton (Banjo) Paterson, Waltzing Matilda tells the story of a swagman who travels with his few belongings wrapped in a blanket. The title, literally “dancing the waltz with Matilda,” in this case means to travel with his swag, affectionately called with that woman’s name.

Transcription for recorder and piano by Massimo Pennesi.

 

Slim Dusty

Waltzing Matilda (1998)

Auld Lang Syne

Anonymous: Auld Lang Syne

Scottish traditional song, usually sung to celebrate start of the New Year. While the music is a folk tune of unknown author, the lyrics is by the Scottish poet Robert Burns, who collected it from an old man en 1788.

Transcription for recorder and piano by Massimo Pennesi. This interactive score was published first in the post Auld Lang Syne, in the blog educacionmusical.es.

Scene from the film It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Bedford Falls’ citizens give to George Bailey (James Stewart) their Christmas present.

Sakura sakura

Anonymous: Sakura sakura.

Japanese traditional song depicting spring. Its title means cherry blossom.

Transcription for recorder and piano by Massimo Pennesi. This interactive score was published first in the post Sakura sakura, in the blog educacionmusical.es.

Jake Shimabukuro

Amazing interpretation of Sakura Sakura by this great ukulele virtuoso.

Scarborough Fair

Anonymous: Scarborough Fair

Traditional English ballad. Its origin dates back to the Middle Ages.

Its current fame is mainly due to Simon & Garfunkel, whose version, released in 1966 as lead track of their album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, the names of the four aromatic plants mentioned in the second line of the lyrics of the song. Two years later it was included on the soundtrack of the movie The Graduate.

Transcription for recorder and guitar by Massimo Pennesi.

Simon & Garfunkel: Scarborough Fair

Live in Central Park, New York, 1981.

Kein schöner Land in dieser Zeit

Anonymous: Kein schöner Land in dieser Zeit

Volkslied (traditional German song) compiled by Anton Wilhelm von Zuccalmaglio.

Transcription for recorder and piano by Massimo Pennesi.

Kein schöner Land in dieser Zeit

Bube Dame König
  • Juliane Weinelt – Singer
  • Till Uhlmann – Violin
  • Jan Oelmann – Guitar