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Christmas Box

A true spirit

The Nativity,
with BASIL RAMSEY


ITM    ITM 8-09

Icelandic Christmas Songs and Hymns to the Virgin (p) 1996 ITM Reykjavík

 

Icelandic musical traditions are mostly ignored by everybody else. This compilation of Christmas songs does include some old tunes known elsewhere in variants. But the purpose obviously is to portray Christmas songs and hymns in Icelandic use today. In so doing the heritage is clearly extensive with a simple quality of harmonisation matching the modal tunes, some familiar to us further south [listen -- track 4, 0:00-0:49].

A gentler carol, for instance, A festival approaches, introduces a later tune with a modern, plain harmonisation. Yet again the simplicity appeals and matches the mood, [listen track 17, 0:00-0:52] reminding us that snappy and elaborate concoctions for Christmas are contrary to the spirit of the Nativity.

The singing is -- much like the music -- plain, balanced, and an affirmation of the Festival that celebrates a momentuous event, the innocence of a Babe, and the joy of us all.

 

 

Copyright © 20 December 2000 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK

 

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