"Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella" from Midwinter Born




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Published on Nov 25, 2013

"Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle" originated from the Provence region of France in the 16th century. The song is usually notated in 3/8 time, creating a light, fast waltz feel. The carol was first published in 1553 in France, and was subsequently translated into English in the 18th century. The song was originally not a Christmas carol, but rather dance music for French nobility. In the carol, visitors to the stable have to keep their voices down so the newborn can enjoy his dreams. To this day in the Provence region, children dress up as shepherds and milkmaids, carrying torches and candles to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, while singing the carol.

Ever since I played this carol on my flutophone in 5th grade, it has been one of my favorite corals. I love the sense of freedom, the lighter-than-air balletic joy. I change keys several times to keep the swirling chordal play moving upward. This piece is the second track on my MIDWINTER BORN solo piano Christmas album.

I use images mainly involving the Festival of Saint Lucia to highlight the connection between Christmas and the warming flame of life.


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