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Music review: Sounds of the Season

BrookWright Music
Hard Copy: $34.99/£26.26
Instrumental MP3 Accompaniment Tracks: $9.99/£7.50


Playing Christmas carols always poses problem.

You need to have a lip like iron, you invariably require friends to help out and sometimes enthusiasm exceeds ability: It’s not always as easy as just wrapping up warm and putting a collection tin out waiting for it to be filled by generous listeners wowed by your festive musical abilities.

However, Andrew Wainwright, alongside William Himes and Kenneth Downie have come up with an inventive ‘do it yourself’ answer.

Sounds of the Season

‘Sounds of the Season’ features 12 carol arrangements for solo instrument (or voice) and piano by Kenneth Downie, William Himes and Andrew Wainwright. 

And if you haven’t got your own accompanist on speed dial, it also comes complete with downloadable MP3 orchestral accompaniment tracks (in short and full version) that gives the soloist the type of backing that Frank Sinatra could croon along too.

And if you haven’t got your own accompanist on speed dial, it also comes complete with downloadable MP3 orchestral accompaniment tracks (in short and full version) that gives the soloist the type of backing that Frank Sinatra could croon along too.

So all you really need is your mobile phone and one of those little Bluetooth speakers and you are ready to go.

In addition, a wide variety of abilities are catered for with optional cuts or repeats and octave splits to allow for a simplified version, as well as the arrangements being made in several different key transpositions: Bb; C; Eb; F; Bass Clef (concert pitch).

Familiar favourites

The 12 chosen carols are the familiar favourites – from the opening ‘Angels from the Realms of Glory’ (Regent Square) via ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ and ‘Jungle Bells’ to ‘The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy’ and the obligatory ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’. 

As you would expect from these high class arrangers, each carol is treated with an intuitive appreciation of what is required; simple, clear and effective.  Set out with the same clarity on the page, they are easy to read and follow. 

There also ‘Away in Manger’; ‘Good Christian Men Rejoice’; ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’; ‘Infant Holy, Infant Lowly’; ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’; ‘Still, Still, Still’ and ‘The Holly and the Ivy’.

As you would expect from these high class arrangers, each carol is treated with an intuitive appreciation of what is required; simple, clear and effective.  Set out with the same clarity on the page, they are easy to read and follow. 

The hard copies can also be easily laminated to repel the worst of the outdoor festive weather if you are really determined to go hard core.

It all adds up to a player friendly option that offers the opportunity to spread a bit of musical goodwill to one and all this festive season. 

Iwan Fox


To view a promo video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_YoknXn7nM

Available from:
http://www.brookwrightmusic.com
http://www.solidbrassmusic.com (US)
http://www.brassband.co.uk (UK)

Features:

Angels from the Realms of Glory (Regent Square) 
Away in a Manger 
Good Christian Men, Rejoice 
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing  
In the Bleak Midwinter 
Infant Holy, Infant Lowly 
Jingle Bells 
O Little Town of Bethlehem (St Louis)
Still, Still, Still 
The Holly and the Ivy 
The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy
We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

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