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Ronald M. Clancy

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Best-Loved Christmas Carols
by Ronald M. Clancy   

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Books by Ronald M. Clancy
· Children's Christmas Classics
· American Christmas Classics
· Sacred Christmas Music
                >> View all



Publisher:  Christmas Classics Ltd. ISBN-10:  0615114601 Type: 


Copyright:  Jul 17 2000 ISBN-13:  9780615114606

Barnes &
christmas classics
the millennia collection

First volume of "THE MILLENNIA COLLECTION: Glorious Christmas Music,
Songs and Carols."

Highly illustrated History of Christmas carols in 4-color with works of Art from world class museums. Package also includes softback Songbook and Music CD of 25 favorite carols. Recording artists are well known choirs and orchestras.

One of the most exquisite collections of Christmas carols produced in the last one
hundred years!

HIGHLY EDUCATIONAL and ENTERTAINING. Increase your knowledge about Christmas music with this lavishly illustrated History about our the origin of carols
from the 13th to 19th period and the fascinating stories behind 25 favorite carols.

BEAUTIFUL TREASURY OF ART. Experience the color of magnificent works of art by Rembrandt, Bottecelli, Peter Paul Rubens, Edward Burne-Jones, Fra Angelico, Jan Steen and other famous artists.

TRADITIONAL FAVORITES. Enjoy the classical sounds of Joy to the World,
Silent Night, Adeste Fideles, O Tannenbaum, Hark! The Herald Angels, Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly, and other best-loved carols performed by world renowned choirs and orchestras, such as the Vienna Boys Choir, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus.

The best modern definition of carol is probably that of Percy Dearmer (1867-1936), co-author of The Oxford Book of Carols, a compilation published in 1928. He described the carol as a song with a religious impulse that is simple, popular, and modern. A carol is folk-like in character. It is simple, has little pretense to it, has plain lyrics, and is a seasonal song.
From the early 14th century until the outset of the Reformation, the carol was more aptly defined as a poem suitable for singing, made up of uniform stanzas, and provided with a burden, or an external refrain, repeated after each stanza. The first carol, according to legend, was sung by angels appearing to the shepherds of Bethlehem and declaring the birth of Christ and "peace to men of good will."
Very few vernacular carols were known prior to the 14th century due to several reasons: Church interference in people's everyday affairs, the predominance of Latin usage, and obscurity.

Professional Reviews

Joy to the World!
FROM 12/17/2000


Doug Wyatt

Joy to the World!

A sumptuous new package celebrates the songs of Christmas

Surrounded by the holiday season's sleaziness and cheesiness, it baubles and bangles and tinsel and glitter, we're all sometimes tempted to grouse, like Dickens' Mr. Scrooge, that Christmas has become but "a poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December."

Ronald Clancy's "Best-Loved Christmas Carols" should banish your
yuletide humbug blues. Clancy's sumptuous package includes a nicely
illustrated book about the history of Christmas carols, a songbook of
sheet music of 25 carols and a CD containing 25 of the world's best-known
carols by such musical mainstays as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the New York Philharmonic, the Vienna Boys Choir, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The package is the first in an ambitious series of planned book/audio projects titled "The Millennia collection: Glorious Christmas Music, songs and Carols."

Clancy's keen interest in Christmas music, and his prodigious research in the field, are evident throughout. The book complements the history of beloved carols with engravings from old carol books and paintings from the world's great museums. Where did the songs come from, anyway?

Who first decked the halls, harked to those herald angels, wished us a
merry Christmas and took us away in a manger? Would someone who's really your "true love" give you a partridge in a pear tree? And who the heck
was King Wenceslas? The answers are all here.

Anyone craving some holiday cheer, in short, is well advised to toss a
yule log on the nearest flames, curl up with this engrossing history of some of the world's most cherished tunes and pop the CD in. By the time, a few cuts in, the Royal Philharmonic Chorus is belting out "Joy to the World," you'll feel like Scrooge after he's finally seen the light.

Best-Loved Christmas Carols




Christmas Classics (North Cape May, NJ, 2000).

106 pp. Art book, 47 pp. Songbook, 25-song CD, $39.95

Ronald M. Clancy's boxed set of "Best-Loved Christmas Carols" is such a good idea it is a wonder no one has produced something similar.

The set has three parts: a compact disc of the songs, a songbook with lyrics and sheet music, and an illustrated book about the history and message of the songs. The CD has 25 Christmas carols recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, Philadelphia's St. Frances de Sales Boy Choir, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and others. It is 75 minutes of what I would agree are the best secular and religious Christmas songs - - and by that I mean no repetitive, saccharine Rudolph and Frosty. In the songbook each carol's sheet music and lyrics are set on one page for ease in actually singing them with friends and family.

Last is the book of art and essays, which is a work of art itself. There
are many full-color reproductions of Nativity and Epiphany paintings by
Rembrandt, Rubens and lesser-known artists whose works you will
recognize from holiday cards. Clancy chose art works that were created
at the same time as the songs. So "Lo how a Rose E're Blooming," written in the 15th century, is illustrated with a page from the Salzburg Missal, a rare book in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich, Germany. This 8-by-10 reproduction can be examined here more
closely than would be possible even if you could hold the actual missal in your hand. Clancy chose the illuminated miniature painting "The Tree of Jesse," which shows the Madonna and Child as the flower at the top of a swirling tree that sprouts from the chest of the sleeping Jesse. This book is full of such wonders.

A Winning Formula for Holiday Compilations
FROM 12/14/01

Sarasota, FL

Joel Welin

A Winning Formula for Holiday Compilations

Each Season, some company attempts to span the decades of holiday music with a compilation of favorites….and most often falls short….

But for timeless carols and songs (no contemporary tuneage here, dude)and immaculate presentation, nothing this season holds a candle to Ronald M. Clancy's "Best-Loved Christmas Carols" and "American Christmas Classics."

The former contains a CD of 25 carols and a songbook with musical
scores and artwork from the Old Masters, while the latter has three CDs
and the lyrics to all 47 songs. But it's the accompanying hard-bound
books that make these somewhat pricey collections fascinating. Clancy
has researched the carols and holiday songs, tracing origins, relating
tales of their impact ("O Holy Night" was disparaged by church officials
for its lack of musical taste) and making them come alive again.

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