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20678547

Silent Night for Piano Quartet

By Gruber

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Detailed Description

Piano Quartet - Easy/Beginner - Digital Download
Composed by Gruber. Arranged by James M. Guthrie, ASCAP. Christian, Christmas. Score, Set of Parts. 6 pages. Published by jmsgu3 (S0.296637).

Item Number: S0.296637

Silent Night arranged for piano quartet (piano, violin, viola & cello). The final verse features a surprise re-harmonization of the melody. Piano reads from the score (3 pg.) Other parts are 1 pg. each.

Silent Night

Origins

Father Joseph Mohr wrote the lyrics for a new Christmas Carol. He wanted thenew carol for his Christmas Eve Mass. With only a couple of hours until theservice, He asked organist and schoolteacher Franz Gruber to write a melody andsimple accompaniment to go with the lyrics. The result is probably the most famousof all Christmas carols – Silent Night.

First Performance

Perhaps because the organ was undergoing repairs, or to make sure theaccompaniment was easy enough, Mohr asked Gruber to write it for the guitar.Mohr played the guitar, and both Mohr and Gruber gave the world premiereperformance at the Christmas Eve Mass in 1818 at St. Nicholas Church inOberndorf in Salzburg.

Original Score

Eventually, the original score became lost, and consequently, Mohr'sname was largely forgotten.  Though the public originally recognizedGruber as the composer, many people over time began rumors that a more famouscomposer was responsible. Thus, they floated the names of Haydn, Mozart, andeven Beethoven. Authorities eventually settled the matter when amanuscript in Mohr’s handwriting turned up in 1820. Consequently, we learn thatMohr wrote the lyrics in 1816, and Gruber composed the melody in 1818.

Popularity

Nonetheless, Silent Night is still very popular. Singers have performed thissong in nearly every genre and in multiple languages. Perhaps the most famousversion is the one Bing Crosby crafted. This version is the third best-sellingphysical single recording in the history of recorded music. This particularrecording was released in 1935 and sold at least 30 million copies.

Only two songs have ever sold more. Elton John released “Candle in the Wind”in 1997 and sold 33 million copies. The record for most copies ever sold goesto Bing Crosby. He released “White Christmas” in 1942 and sold 50 millionphysical copies.

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