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A Christmas Meditation on "The First Noël" and "Holy Night"

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (12/08/18)
Composer: Burdett, George A.
Sample Producer: CLR Resources
Sample Set: University of Redlands 1927
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th Century
George Albert Burdett (1856-1943) was a Boston organist who published a number of organ works.

"A Christmas Meditation" was published by The Arthur P. Schmidt Co. in 1924. It is based upon two of the most well-loved carols, "The First Noël" and "Holy Night".

Please note that "Holy Night" is "Silent night, holy night," and NOT "O Holy Night"! :-)

In seeking music to play on this large Casavant, I was really looking for American music for Advent and Christmas, and found this (and another work by Burdett) a few days ago.

When I started to go through it earlier today, I was playing it "as written" (in terms of registration, conception, etc.), but to be honest, it was falling pretty flat.

It occurred to me that this could show most of the varied colors found and this organ, and that's how I did it. In the recording, you'll hear most of the "solo" reeds, a variety of strings, and some exquisite flutes. Keep on the listen for the fabulous French horn, which makes a brief appearance around the 1:15 mark.

There is a LOT to be found in this organ, but you have find it. It's the sort of instrument that reigned supreme in the US at one time. Skinner, Austin, and these old Casavants all in contention with one another.

One of the first organs I played was an old, 4-manual Casavant of the same vintage as this one, maybe a few years earlier. I knew nothing, but found I was pretty good at playing with the stops.

While this isn't "my kind" of instrument, I admit that I do enjoy it, and still get pleasure in finding that I can play "the way I used to," before I discovered the Anglican tradition.

MORE seasonal recordings coming! I really need to get back to my Advent uploads, and realize that I shouldn't be playing all this Christmas music so early in the season! :-)

The score is attached below.

Peace to all!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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