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 JOHN WOODSWORTH
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Classical 'Jingle Bells' on the piano
(plus an improvisation)
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(page launched 23 December 2008)
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...
... .
Background 

THE INSPIRATION  for this project came to me in the mid-1990s from watching Victor Borge's famous classical variants on the 'Happy Birthday' tune.  I wondered what various classical composers would have come up with if they had been commissioned to write 'Jingle Bells' as a classical piece of music.

In each case I started off with an existing work by the composer, transforming it by the end of the piece into the now-familiar holiday melody.  Most works leant themselves to an adaptation more to the refrain ("Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way"), though a couple seemed to be better adaptable to the stanza melody ("Dashing through the snow...").  For two in particular (Beethoven's and Bach's) I was able to come up with a variation on both the stanza and the refrain, though with these composers you may note that the interweaving of the 'classical' and 'Jingle' themes is more subtle and you may have to listen more closely to pick out the carol tune.

After the ten classical variants of the holiday tune below, you will find a link to my own modern improvisation on the 'Jingle Bells' tune.
 

For a sample of JW's other piano improvisation, please click here.

For a combination of piano improvisation with poetry reading, please click here.
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JW's CLASSICAL 'JINGLE BELLS'
in MP3 format

To listen to all ten variations without interruption,
click here (6 minutes 13 seconds)

or, for individual composers, click on any of the titles below
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TCHAIKOVSKY
'Jingle-Nut Bells' (refrain) (17 secs)
(based on the 'Russian Dance' from Pëtr Il'ich Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite)

MOZART
'Jingle-tina'(refrain) (19 secs)
(based on one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's sonatinas)

STRAUSS
'Jingle on the Danube' (stanza) (28 secs)
(based on the 'Blue Danube' Waltz, by Johann Strauss)

SIBELIUS
'Finjinglia' (refrain) (34 secs)
(based on Jean Sibelius' tone poem 'Finlandia')

SCHUMANN
'To Jinglia' (refrain) (26 secs)
(based on Robert Schumann's Sonata in G Major 'To Julia')

HÄNDEL
'Jingle on the water' (stanza) (31 secs)
(based on a Sonata in C Major by Georg Friedrich Händel)

HAYDN
'Surprise Jingle' (refrain) (18 secs)
(based on the third movement of Joseph Haydn's 'Surprise Symphony')

BRAHMS
'Jingllullaby' (refrain) (40 secs)
(based on the well-known Lullaby by Johannes Brahms)

BEETHOVEN
'Jingle 49/2' (stanza & refrain) (1:08)
(based on Ludwig van Beethoven's Opus 49, No 2 Sonata)

BACH
'The Joy Jingle' (stanza & refrain) (1:27)
(based on introduction to 'Jesu, joy of man's desiring' by Johann Sebastian Bach)

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.To listen to JW's improvisation on the 'Jingle Bells' theme,
click here (3:03)

*          *          *
improvise ['impra,vaIz] v.tr.1  compose or peform (music, etc.) extempore

extempore [Ik'stemparI]adj. & adv.  1 without preparation 
2 offhand  [Latin ex tempore on the spur of the moment]

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...
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"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you... 
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

-- John 14:27
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E-mail : <jw[at ]kanadacha.ca>
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