classic CHRISTMAS JAZZ christmas
classic CHRISTMAS JAZZ christmas
classic CHRISTMAS
JAZZ christmas

TH-72002

Paul Bisaccia, piano

  1. March, The Nutcracker Suite,
  2. Tchaikovsky [2:36]
  3. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,
    The Nutcracker Suite, Tchaikovsky [2:01]
  4. Russian Dance, The Nutcracker Suite, Tchaikovsky [0:57]
  5. Dance of the Reed Flutes, The Nutcracker Suite, Tchaikovsky [2:31]
  6. Waltz of the Flowers, The Nutcracker Suite, Tchaikovsky [6:28]
  7. Joy To The World, George F. Handel [1:34]
  8. O Come All Ye Faithful, John Reading [1:42]
  9. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,
    Richard S. Willis [0:56]
  10. Silent Night, Franz Gruber [1:05]
  11. Jingle Bells (in homage to Ella),
    James Pierpont [0:59]
  12. We Wish You a Merry Christmas,
    traditional [2:12]
  13. Deck the Halls,Traditional [2:50]
  14. Up on the Housetop (Boogie-Woogie),
    Benjamin Hanby [0:42]
  15. Sleigh Ride, Leroy Anderson [2:23]
  16. Jingle Bells, James Pierpont [1:23]
  17. Winter Wonderland, Felix Bernard [1:07]
  18. The Christmas Song, Mel Tormé [2:41]
  19. Silent Night (in the snow), Franz Gruber [2:09]
  20. Away in a Manger, traditional [2:16]
  21. Carol, Christopher A. Haynes [3:11]
  22. Carol of the Bells, M. Leontovich [1:21]
  23. O Holy Night, Adolph Adam [3:30]
    The Seasons, Peter I. Tchaikovsky
  24. November - Sleigh Ride [4:08]
  25. December - Christmas Waltz [4:45]
  26. Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, J.S. Bach [3:27]
    Christmas Tree Suite, Franz Liszt
  27. Old Christmas Song [2:56]
  28. The Shepherd's at the Manger
    (In dulci jubilo) [3:45]
  29. Adeste Fidelis as March of the Three Kings [3:56]
  30. Scherzoso - Merry Making Upon
    Lighting the Tree [2:41]
  31. Old Provencal Christmas Song [1:35]
  32. Slumber Song [3:36]

total time: 77:45

About the music:

I've always wanted to record a Christmas album, but wondered what repertoire to choose. As you can see, I chose to play both jazz and classical styles in a collection of both the familiar and the seldom heard. We have classics, pop standards, jazz and even boogie-woogie. Many of the classics here are seldom played on the piano, such as the Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite. Liszt's Christmas Tree Suite, written as a Christmas gift to his granddaughter Daniela, is almost never played. It's a masterpiece well worth rediscovering. Liszt was a man of deep spiritual convictions and in the slower pieces (such as In dulci jubilo and Slumber Song) there is a luminous quality unique in piano music.

We have two versions of Sleigh Ride. The famous one by Leroy Anderson is a jazzy uptempo New England sleigh ride. The other (seldom performed) by Tchaikovsky is a magical romantic version of a sleigh ride in a Russian wonderland of snow and ice. Both Leroy Anderson and Tchaikovsky imitate the clip-clop of horses, but in the Tchaikovsky version the snow also begins to fall ever so delicately.

There are two versions of Silent Night - one as the snow falls, and the other filled with evocative jazz chords. There are also two versions of Jingle Bells - one a short homage to Ella Fitzgerald and the other played as a pop standard. Of course everyone loves Mel Tormé's Christmas Song. I can't help but recall his velvety smooth voice and the lovely sophisticated jazz harmonies he chose for this Christmas standard.

Finally, I included a new Carol for piano by my good friend Christopher Haynes. He writes that the music is to be played "as if on a journey". I like to think of it as a reminiscence of a Christmas journey that we all have taken.

Paul Bisaccia
Provincetown, Massachusetts