Julie Rivers

 

"Christmastide" CD MP3 Tracks - Pulls celestial beauty down to Earth

I think of Christmas as being a beautiful, blessed and magical time of year, as most people do .  I wanted to create an album that included some of the beautiful music that we don't hear as much, as well as some of our old favorite carols.  With the help of some good and talented friends, I think we did. You never hear some of the Spanish carols, like Song of the Wise Men,  or In Bethlehem's Cradle, but they are so beautiful and perfect for Peter Larsen to play on guitar, along with the piano arrangement.

Since I am Swedish (my Dad was born in Motala, Sweden), I wanted to include two of my favorite Swedish carols, too. They are When Christmas Morn is Dawning and Christmas is Here, Again.  I was happy my son, a composer/conductor/violinist could join me on an arrangement of the Bach-Gounod  Ave Maria.  That was the most special performance for me. With it's grand orchestrations, God Gave Us Life, a song by Randy Wills that I arranged for piano, is probably the most imposing arrangement on the album.

An extraordinarily special number on the album is Baby Jesus, Sleeping Softly, which was written by my son when he was a little boy. It always moves me with its simplicity and the childhood innocence with which it was created. Seeing him , now, as a mature conductor and violinist, I know that his musical sensitivity was always there, and he expressed it so beautifully in this piece. The rest of the album has familiar carols, like I Wonder as I Wander; Fum, Fum, Fum; Away in a Manger; The Coventry Carol; The Wassail Song; The Holly and the Ivy; Deck the Halls".....and more!

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