Tuesday, November 29, 2016, marked the electronic release of my holiday recording with pianist Lurray Myers, “It’s for You….for Christmas.” While the album releases today on CDBaby, Amazon and iTunes, a limited number of physical copies of the CD are in production as well. I wrote these notes for the CD insert and thought I would share them here for anyone who may be interested.
Pietro Yon composed the Italian Christmas3 carol, Gesù bambino, in 1917. The melody and lyrics of the chorus are easily recognizable as the carol O Come All Ye Faithful. Mariä Wiegenlied, or The Virgin’s Slumber Song, is a German Christmas carol published by Max Reger in 1912. The lilting melody and accompaniment sets the tone for this lullaby as Mary rocks her Jesus-Child. Alphonsus Maria de’Liguori composed the melody and lyrics for Tu scendi dalle stelle, or You come down from the stars. Liguori was a prominent Neapolitan priest and philosopher who was later canonized. Tu scendi dalle stelle is a widely popular Christmas carol in Italy. Originally published in 1853, Ave Maria was a collaboration between Charles Gounod and Johann Sebastian Bach 137 years in the making. The melody by Gounod and Latin text were superimposed over the Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846 from Book I of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas in 1940 for the movie Holiday Inn, which starred Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. For the movie, Berlin was to write a song about each major holiday of the year. However, as Berlin was Jewish, he found it most challenging to write a song about Christmas. It paid off, as according to the Guiness Book of World Records, White Christmas, sung by Bing Crosby, is the best-selling single worldwide, with estimated sales of over 100 million copies. Composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, Silver Bells is a popular Christmas song. It was first performed by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the motion picture The Lemon Drop Kid. It is also the first song that Martha sang with her first grade class in public performance.
The creation of this Christmas recording has been made possible by nothing less than a web of friendship. I have been very lucky to continually work with amazing professionals who are also great friends. Thank you to pianist Lurray Myers for her masterful skill, kindness and steadfast encouragement. Thank you to Matt DeSear for his expertise and for creating a fun and supportive atmosphere in which to record. Thank you to talented artist and illustrator Julia Guthrie for her beautiful depiction of my young friend and model for the front cover, Hannah Nichols. Special thanks to shining star Hannah as well as her mother Jamie, who has been a sister and constant friend despite having lived with me for three years as my roommate in college! My gratitude to my dear friend Vanessa Targino. A woman of many talents, her skill as a graphic designer graces this album.It’s for you…for Christmas was recorded in the spirit of fun. It is a hybrid of both classical and popular works that I hope will bring some cheer to your home this holiday season. Special thanks to my family, friends, and supporters – I appreciate your kindness and encouragement. Thank you to every person who has provided fuel and inspiration for me as an artist. Lucky for me, there are too many of you to name. Just know– this one’s for you. Merry Christmas.