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A Paris Christmas

by Carla K. Bartlett

Level:Intermediate to Advanced
Instrument:Solo Piano
Genre:Classical
Format:35 page soft cover book with CD--$12.95
A CD in jewel case--$4.95
A downloadable pdf file (music book) and mp3 sound files (CD)--$12.95
Price:Each individual piece -- $3.95
Each mp3 file -- $.99

A Paris Christmas book with CD:
A Paris Christmas

Introduction

Third in the Musical Travel Journal series, A Paris Christmas opens up a world of holiday adventure in the brilliant French city through sparkling melodies and contemporary harmonies. Stories introducing each piece help students imagine scenes that inspired the music. These Christmas-inspired pieces are a nice supplement to traditional carols on a winter recital.


Merry Christmas Paris Bells Merry Christmas Paris Bells
Level:Intermediate
Description:Inspired by a Christmas day cacophony of church bells ringing throughout the city, the piece begins with a cheery theme in F major and an insistent pedal point.

Moving through a brief development in G major, an ambiguous mix of keys imitates the sounds of competing bells, with open fifths in the bass in F, Eb, and Ab over which the main theme sings, with plenty of sustaining pedal.

The performer creates an ending by ordering the last three sections according to his or her taste!

Individual piece: $3.95
Individual mp3: $.99
Purchase Download [not shipped]


Adventures with a French Refrigerator Adventures with a French Refrigerator
Level:Intermediate/Advanced
Description:Imitating the soft, pulsing sonority of the little refrigerator’s hum in my Paris apartment, this piece captures my dreamful adventures of riding the refrigerator high in the skies, circling the Eiffel Tower.

Repetitive notes is the key motif here: the piece opens with a G pedal point against which the melody paces in mixolydian mode. Soon the tempo begins to accelerate and a sailing melody enters in the left hand, moving through a number of key centers to a slower section in B major. A very soft, dreamy C major theme with rolled chords and use of the una corda pedal brings us back to the energy of the opening, with a final C major resolution at the end---or is it?

Individual piece: $3.95
Individual mp3: $.99


Rainy Paris Streets (Theme & Variations) Rainy Paris Streets (Theme & Variations)
Level:Advanced
Description:Memories of the beauty and grace of Paris streets in the rain are captured in this set of four variations around an elegant theme, played with a large dose of rubato. The B major theme captures a certain poignancy with its sequenced melodic motif and descending chromatic bass line.

Variation 1 renders the theme as a lilting dance in 6/8 time. A chromatic counterpoint to the bass line appears above the melody in the right hand (see measure 26). The B section in G# minor departs from the thematic melody but develops the chromatic motif, returning to the theme with some displacement at the octave in the right hand. The final statement of the theme occurs over arpeggiation and scalar passages in the left hand.

Variation 2 returns to 4/4, the theme spun out with lacey16th notes against the falling chromatic motif, first in the right hand and then the left.

Variation 3 plays with the theme rhythmically, beginning the themes in hymn-like solemnity with half notes, then quarters, then eighths, back to quarters, halves, and ending with whole notes.

Variation 4 sports a Kabalevsky-style sparkle with light staccato eighth notes and dynamic contrasts, coming to an abrupt pianissimo halt at the bottom of the keyboard, as if we’ve run out of notes.

Individual piece: $3.95
Individual mp3: $.99


Headless Accordion Player Headless Accordion Player
Level:Intermediate
Description:Inspiration for this piece comes from an encounter with a street musician playing on a chilly corner, his suit pulled up over his head to make him appear headless. His accompanying poster displays an intriguing philosophical proclamation:

Music, as well as other arts,
deals with conciliating
Law with Freedom,
Precision with Fantasy.

I aim to balance the constraints of traditional harmony with an urge for my own freedom and fantasy.

The piece opens with a rambling fanfare in C, followed by the main theme in rising and falling thirds and harmonic ambiguity, alternating F major with F minor—or is it Db?—until a cadence point in F and a new section beginning in B major. We move through numerous tonalities, with a cello-like theme emerging in the left hand accompanied by a guitar-like chordal pattern in the right. The piece ends with a cadenza flourish and ethereal cadence in G—or is it?

Individual piece: $3.95
Individual mp3: $.99


Harmonium Mundi Harmonium Mundi
Level:Intermediate
Description:This is a song of thanks for the many magical moments of peace, grace, and harmony found on a Christmas holiday in Paris.

The melody, a sweet lullaby, is delicately accompanied by strummed chords in the bass until it passes to the left hand at the end of the A section. The B section brings arpeggiated chords under the melody and then, after a cadence point on IV, returns the melody to the left hand for a whispered ending. Peace to you, my friend!

Individual piece: $3.95
Individual mp3: $.99

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