"Season's Greetings" by Marc Filmer - Album Release: Oct 31st, 2022

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"Season's Greetings" is a piano and strings album by me, Marc Filmer. The album features eight original compositions, with solo piano versions also included.

I wanted to create an instrumental album of my favorite traditional festive songs. All tracks feature new arrangements of melodies that are now in the public domain.

The album cover features Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, (Dorset, England). This spot is also depicted on an early album of mine, "Postcards," after I saw the picturesque location while visiting family members.

1. In the Bleak Midwinter

The words of this song originate from an 1872 poem by Christina Rossetti, an English poet. The melody of the music is originally by the English composer Gustav Holst (1906).

Holst's hymnal version also goes by the name "Cranham."

2. Deck the Halls

This traditional classic stems from "Nos Galan," a 16th Century melody, originating from Wales. The version in English is from 1862 and is by Thomas Oliphant.

An arrangement of the original melody has previously been done by Hadyn, and possibly Mozart too (18th violin sonata).

3. Away in a Manger

This carol first appeared towards the end of the 1800s and is believed to originate from the United States. There are many variations of the lyrics, with the first known source being published anonymously as "Luther's Cradle Song" in 1882.

There are two musical settings for the carol, with the first by James R. Murray (1887), and the second by William J. Kirkpatrick (1895).

4. I Saw Three Ships

First appearing in the 17th Century, this English carol may once have been called "As I Sat On a Sunny Bank." Some sources locate the origin in Derbyshire, England, and under its prior title, the traditional tune achieved popularity in Cornwall.

It's believed that the contemporary lyrics stem from an 1833 version by William Sandys.

5. Silent Night

Austrian composer Franz Xaver Gruber created the melody for "Silent Night," to the lyrics by Joseph Mohr. Under the original German title"Stille Nacht," the music was unveiled in 1818 at a local church on Christmas Eve.

The church organ had recently been affected by a river flood. As a result, Mohr, a Catholic priest, asked the organist Gruber to compose a melody for his poem, with a guitar accompaniment.

6. Joy to the World

The English Christmas carol "Joy to the World" was introduced in 1719, with the lyrics written by Isaac Watts, a minister who wrote hymns. Created as a reinterpretation of Psalm 98, the US composer Lowell Mason penned the 1848 musical arrangement that is standard today.

With Isaac Watts being a fan of the music of Handel, some have suggested that the 1742 piece "Messiah" may have partially inspired the melody.

7. Jingle Bells

The 1857 song "Jingle Bells" was originally titled "The One Horse Open Sleigh" with music and lyrics by James Lord Pierpont.

Some believe that "Jingle Bells" was created at Simpson Tavern in Medford, Massachusetts (US). Medford was known for its sleigh races at the time of the song's inception.

8. The Holly and the Ivy

The English Christmas carol "The Holly and the Ivy" first appeared in the early 1800s, though the melody known today was published by Cecil Sharp in 1911. As with other pieces of traditional music, the lyrics have evolved and have been paired with other folk melodies at earlier times.

In Britain, holly and ivy are traditionally used in Christmas decorations and have symbolic meaning in Christianity.

Listen To "Season's Greetings" Now!

I hope you are now excited to give my new album a spin!

"Season's Greetings" can be streamed on all major digital distribution platforms. Music videos will be released weekly for both the piano and strings and the solo piano versions, so make sure you're subscribed to the Marc Filmer YouTube channel!

LISTEN: Napster, Tidal, Apple Music, Deezer, Spotify, Amazon, Amazon Music, Pandora, YouTube Music, iHeartRadio.