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December 02, 1958 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1958-12-02

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! *&We

JAY, DECEMBER 2, 19b5 sa

.. _

Records Capture Spirit of Christmas
Through Classical, Popular Favorites

From Handel to Johnny Mathis,
from Mantovani to Patti Page, the
spirit of Christmas is brought to
us on record.
Tinsel and mistletoe are not
enough to complete the decor of
the home at Yuletide season. Fam-
ilies around the world search
through their record cabinets, pull-
ing out and dusting off familiar
discs of Christmas melodies.
Old records help recall warm
memories of Christmases gone by;
newK records, with their modern
versions of the same unforgettable
favorites, are a must on every
Christmas list. Together, these
records contribute to the total
significance of the Christmas day.
Classics Recorded
There are some records which
are never forgotten during the
holiday season. These classics are
also played throughout the year,
but are especially listened to at
Christmas time.
Such a classic is Handel's "Mes-
siah." Each year, record companies
put out both complete and con-
densed versions of this composi-
tion. This year, however, in addi-
tion to these two approaches, a,
new recording of the 1741 compo-
sition has been made. This record-
ing contains only the special
"Christmas music portions" of the
"Messiah." It should appeal to
many a Christmas record shopper.
A story which .people never tire
of hearing is that of the.Nativity.
It is recorded each year with
music accompaniment, taking the
listener on a revisit to the small
town of Nazareth and on the jour-
ney to the crowded inn.
Choral Music
Always popular, not only during
the Christmas season, but
throughout the year as well, are
the Robert Shaw Chorale and the
Robert Wagner Chorale. These
two chorales, or choruses, are uni-
versally famous for their grea,
diversity of singing ability. They
perform pieces from mass music
to Old English carols to folk songs.
The Christmas season finds them
participating with equal splendour
in their albums, "Robert Shaw
CoAducts Christmas Hymns and
God Rest Us,
Gentlemen ..
About the middle of December
the desire for a vacation is the
utmost thought in all students'
Everyone looks forward to two
weeks at Christmas time for sleep-
ing, parties, relaxing, ,sleeping,
reading Dr. Zhivago, skiing and
skating in the north, swimming
in the south, sleeping, seeing old
friends and sleeping.
Some may plan to work during
part of their vacation, but all look
forward to two solid weeks with-
out classes or schoolwork.
Reality Sets In
Then reality sets in and the
glorious dream drifts away.
It may come with the realiza-
tion that finals come only a few
weeks after classes resume. Or it
may come when the igrofessor re-
minds the class that t e paper he
assigned in September is due the
first week after vacation.
Or perhaps, just before Christ-
mas, the professor announces a
special reading assignment to be
completed over Christmas vaca-
Holiday Homework
However it happens, the stu-
dent finally realizes that he is
stuck and will have to do some
studying over the holidays.
Arid does all the work get
finished? The answers vary great-
Wl. Some conscientious students
and some who have a tremendous
load spend several hours almost

every day working on assignments.
Most, however, fail to remember
the assignments until three days
before the end of vacation. So, for
three days the password is study,
study, study.
No matter how one goes about
studying during Christmas vaca-
tion, the result is the same. That
is, the vacation is not half as
much fun or half as beneficial as
it could have been without home-

DIVER ITY-Albums of Christmas music include all kinds, from popular
works, and are recorded by a variety of artists, including popular singers

-Daily-Robert Kanner
songs to carols to religious
and symphony orchestras.

Carols" and "Joy to the World"
by the Robert Wagner Chorale.
Presented each year without fail
is the story in music of "Amahl
and the Night Visitors." Its Ital-
ian-American composer, Gian Car-
10 Menotti, got his idea for the
composition from the way Christ-
mas is celebrated in Italy. There,
three Kings, analogous to the
American Santa Claus, bring the
Italian children their holiday gifts.
Thus, Menotti's composition is
concerned with the stopping of
The Three Kings at the home of
a crippled boy on their way to visit
the Christ Child. The recording,
which has been out for quite a few
years, was made by the original
cast of the NBC telecast of the
composition on Christmas Eve,
Foreign Christmases
As an added enjoyment for
people from other countries who
have come to the United States
to live, and of course, for the en-
joyment of Americans as well,
record companies this year are
featuring a large series of albums
of Christmas music from other
lands. Each album in the series
contains music from a different
country where Christmas is cele-
brated, sung and recorded in the
country's native tongue.
"Ave Maria" and "O Tannen-
baum" can be heard in one of the
"Christmas in Germany" albums,
and "Noche De Paz" (Silent Night)
and "Navidades Blancas" (White
Christmas) on the "Christmas in
Spain" album.
Mexico, too, whose unusual
Christmas festivities begin on Dec.
16 and last until Jan. 2, has made
her contribution to the record
parade, as well as "Christmas in
Sweden." Christmas music of Aus-
tria, Holland, France, England,
Italy, and Brazil have also been
Christmas Carols
The integral and irreplaceable
part of the Christmas holiday in
America is the Christmas carol. All
the carols resemble one another
in that they symbolize rejoicing
and hope, yet each one has a!
different origin and ihspiration.
Many of the carols, in fact, did
not have Christmas origins at all,

but were connected with Druid
worship and Saturnaila festivals
of pre-Christian times; for ex-;
ample, "Deck the Halls" seems to
be of Pagan derivation.
Ann Arbor business leaders
echo the phrases of national
leaders and economists in pre-
dicting a retail boom over the
Christmas season.
Phrases like "relaxing of the
public's mind," "restored con-
fidence," and "optimistic out-
look" are used by both na-
tional and local leaders.
Fred Schmidt, president of
the Anns ArboriRetail Mer-
chants Association said that
one of the most optimistic in-
dications of a successful season
for the local merchants was the
fact this year the Christmas
Clubs of the Ann Arbor banks
sent out the largest total to the
Club members in Ann Arbor
Also, Schmidt noted that the
.AnnArbor employment situa-
tion is "much better" than last
Schmidt explained that Ann
Arbor is not usually affected
very seriously by the automobile
industry, since not too many
Ann Arbor citizens are con-
nected with it. However,
Schmidt said that one of the
largest manufacturing firms in{
Ann Arbor does business withj
the industry and is affectedf
"somewhat" by the conditions
of that industry.
He felt that the settlement of
the Chrysler strike would be, an
additional aid to the business
prospects, because it would re-!
assure the people.
However, he added, since
there are "about 23,000 stu-
dents in Ann Arbor, most of
whom are partially supported
by parents outside the area, but
who spend their money in Ann
Arbor, business conditions here
are usually relatively stable.

The words to "Joy to the World"
were written in 1719, and the
melody, which was written in the
next century, was composed
around the melodies of Handel's
"Messiah." "God Rest Ye Merry,
Gentlemen" is a London tune dat-
ing back to the 17th century.
The original music of what is
now "Hark the Herald Angels
Sing" was written by Mendelssohn
in honor of Johann Guttenberg
and the invention of the printing
press, while "O Little Town of
Bethlehem," a carol of American
derivation, was written in 1868 for
Sunday school children.
Somehow, these songs all came
together, and emerged as the
Christmas music we know today.
Make Recordings
Each year these carols are re-
corded. Orchestral arrangements
of carols this year have been
recorded b~y Mantovani, Jackie
Gleason and the Hollywood Bowl
Symphony Orchestra. The beauty
of the orchestral music in the
Gleason album "Merry Christmas"
is heightened by the use of an
electric celeste, whose fragile
sound adds new dimension to the
Switching from orchestras to
1 popular singers, it can be seen
that they have discarded their
rock and roll and calypso beats
in favor of singing, in subdued
tones, the old, yet new, Christmas
Johnny Mathis' album "Merry
Christmas," Tennessee Ernie Ford's
"The Star Carol" and Harry Bela-
fonte's "To Wish You a Merry
Christmas" are expected to be
the biggest sellers in the popular
category. Mathis and Ford have
centered their singing around the
more familiar hymns and carols,
such as "Silent Night," "The First
Noel," and "It Came Upon a Mid-
night Clear."
>ittle Known Carols
Belafante, in addition to these
warmly familiar carols, presents
some less widely known ones: "A
Star in the East," "Where Little
Jesus Sleeps" and Longfellow's "I
Heard the Bells of Christmas
For a long time, the most suc-
cessful selling single record during
the holiday season has been
"White Christmas." Bing Crosby,
known for his recording of i
incorporated it into a long play-
ing album a number of years ago
called "Merry Christmas."
To complete the array of Christ-
mas albums, recording companies
each year try to put out a few

Chamber Promotes Cheer'
Through Annual Deco-irations
Yuletide cheer promoted by the
Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce A large Christmas tree will also

is fo
pus b
the n
by t
be lit
bus e
of th
to Ar

und again this year in the be erected and decorated by the records that are entirely different
ated streets of the city down- Salvation Army. This tree, in front than those that have been done
shopping districts and cam- of the Elks Club Building, will before. "Christmas with Grandma
usiness areas. have a light for each $25 con- Moses" and "Christmas Holidays
hts and aluminum cross tributed to their Christmas Fund. at Radio City Music Hall" are two
t units have been added to Plans for colored bulbs to in- of the most Interesting of these for
zew units purchased last year dicat different sources include this year.
he Chamber of Commerce. red 4llbs for personal contribu- The voice of Grandma Moses,
een new pole units also add tions and for the soliciting by one of America's noted painters,
tmas cheer to the city streets. various service clubs in Ann Arbor. is recorded as she recalls her early
lliam A. Bott, Chamber of Yellow bulbs will designate so- Christmas memories. The Music
merce manager, said that the rority contributions and blue lights Hall album contains excerpts from
ion of these units began be- will mark the fraternity donations. their traditional Christmas shows.
Thanksgiving, since it takes
workmen almost a week to
them. Beginning the week
Thanksgiving, the lights will PEPERSONALIZE D
from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. This
continue until after New
s Day.
e Junior Chamber of Com-
e and the Knights of Colum-:,l6tJ k
rected cribs in front of the
lig home and the County VA ..'L
ing "to bring representation
e real meaning of the holiday Fine selection of assorted
nn Arbor," they said.__n Sl CA a pi
e County Building is decor- and single cards at prices
with a Christmas tree. that will please YOU!
off; aChristmas notes (for that
personal message) inmany
e'A Christmas gift that will be appreciated! Many
* ou"*glos fine values in plain and decorated papers for


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