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Three Carols for Piano

By Carol Lander

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Three Carols for Piano composed by Carol Lander. For piano solo. Level 4. Published by Imagine Music - Digital (IZ.PFW091).

This is a wonderful collection of three carols for Christmas composed and arranged by Carol Lander. Includes I Wonder As I Wander, O Sanctissima and Around the Christmas Hearth. I Wonder As I Wander: This Appalachian carol was made famous by John Jacob Niles, who in 1933 scribbled down notes and lyrics while ing to a mountain woman sing the plaintive melody. I Wonder As I Wander begins with this simple yet haunting strain. Then it progresses through three variations each increasing in complexity and intensity, tied together with a recurring melancholic chord progression, itself varied. The impressive climax spends the energy of the piece which fades away to a last whispered echo. O Sanctissima: This English Christmas carol is also a Roman Catholic hymn in Latin to the Blessed Virgin Mary with the tune originating in Sicily. Inspiration for O Sanctissima came from youthful memories of a religious ceremony called a May Crowning which involved a procession with flowers into church and crowning of Mary. The new First Communicants were allowed to wear all their finery again and take part in the devotional procession. The solemn organ hymnsong makes up the beginning and end of the piece. But the light and frolicking improvisation within is the gleeful march of the second graders; the little girls, then the boys. Playfulness abounds as they display the innocent irreverence of the very young. Around the Christmas Hearth: The heart always comes home at Christmas. Home is warmth, comfort, and love as suggested by this beautiful melody in G major. The piece begins with the unadorned melody and simple arpeggiated left hand accompaniment, then repeats adding a single harmony a sixth above. But over the years home also can change, sometimes poignantly. The middle section moves to the relative minor and becomes pensive with a wistful, searching melody and dissonance. But home will always be there, no matter life's trials, and we return sometimes stronger but always comforted by those things we seek that cradle our hearts. The final section returns with the lyrical melody and modulates up a step.

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