“I always find it funny when people say, ‘I don’t really like classical music’ or ‘it doesn’t do anything for me.’ I tell them, ‘Well, you know, it does. You go to films and you’re responding to it, and you’ve heard it…’ It’s controlling you! So don’t think you’re not being affected. It’s a great medium for music.”
Violinist, soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and conductor Joshua Bell
One of the beauties of Christmas music is that it can easily fit into any style: Rock, Easy Listening, Country, Jazz, and, of course, Classical.
DON’T RUN AWAY!
This will not be a bore. Au contraire. A fun time is guaranteed.
You see our Christmas music feature this week won’t be classical in the strictest sense. You’ll just have to tag along to see and hear for yourself.
Let’s get started.
Traditionally here, a rousing opening.
From the Christmas season of 2014, in concert, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest United States.
Our next selection is a song from Jerry Herman’s 1966 Broadway musical “Mame,” originally performed by Angela Lansbury. Yes, you’ll hear it on FM radio, but not like this.
Time now to pose a fascinating musical question…
Told you this would be fun!
Did the famous composer celebrate Christmas?
The custom to have a fir tree decorated with tinsel, colourful glass balls and candles spread all over the world from Germany in the 19th century. However, there are a few surviving reports of decorated Christmas trees from the 18th century. It is perfectly possible that a cultivated, well-travelled family such as the Mozarts would have had one in their parlour. The same is true of nativity scenes. The display of the holy family with ox and ass grew in popularity in the 18th century.
We know for a fact that Mozart was very fond of the typical Christmas beverage – punch. He got to know and appreciate punch in England in 1764, at a time when punch was unheard of in Salzburg. In a letter to his Salzburgian friend Hagenauer, Leopold Mozart enthusiastically wrote about the future favourite drink of his son – and provided a recipe!
A family Christmas was most certainly an uncommon occurrence for the Mozart family. Father and son constantly travelled – even in winter.
The whole “What If?” concept is intriguing, but there’s really no mystery. Mozart did indeed compose Christmas music.
OK, one more because, we just have to.
From our next group’s website:
It all started in a piano store in a little Southern Utah town called Saint George. Paul Anderson, the store’s owner, was looking for a new, unconventional way to market pianos. The name of the piano store? The Piano Guys. Paul embarked upon a self-guided study of social marketing and started a YouTube channel and a Facebook page. He had seen videos “go viral” and was fascinated by this exponential phenomenon. He set out to engage potential customers with music videos that were entertaining and that showcased the pianos he had in his store – envisioning “viral videos” doing his marketing for him. Paul was an ambitious, talented risk taker and felt inspired that if he could find the right people to work with he could create the number one music video channel in the world.
In walked Jon Schmidt. Literally. Jon had built a career in solo piano performance and had a concert in the St. George area. He asked Paul if he could practice on one of the store’s pianos in preparation for his gig that night. Paul explained his idea to Jon and asked if he would be willing to be in a video promoting both the store and Jon’s music. It was a win-win. Jon brought so much to the table. He had experienced the “music business” first hand. He had a gift for combining multiple genres of music in such an entertaining way that he had captivated and captured a broad, substantial fan base.
A few others followed and “The Piano Guys” were born.
Entreprenuer.com described the group in 2015 as “four Mormon dads from Utah who quit their day jobs in pursuit of an online career that has already netted them millions.”
That’s it for this week.
More Christmas music next Friday.
Have a classic weekend!
How about some music magic all the way from London!
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