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December 02, 1962 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1962-12-02

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Christmas Mobs Hit New York

Medieval Carols Survive Centuries


Beware of the big city this
Christmas vacation.
Beware of New York City in par-
ticular. Last year Christmas and
New Year's Day fell on a Mon-
day, and the Wednesday in be-
tween was balmy, even by New
York standards for December.
That day previewed what the
big city would probably look like
while the population explosion was

dale got away from their studiesf
for awhile, and the usual Christ-
mas tourists completed thec
swamping of the city.2
The Wednesday between Christ-
mas and New Year's Day thisf
year may easily be as bad, if notl
worse. New York is a favorite spott
for anyone who can get away dur-
ing the Yule season. The usual
number of Broadway and off-
Broadway shows will be ready for
the crowd.t
But to be sure that you don't
get caught in the rush and get1
stuck in the last row of the last
balcony, order those tickets now
by mail, if it isn't too late al-
ready. Pick up a New York paper
at just about any newsstand in ]
town and go over the theatre list-
ings. There are perhaps only halfE
a dozen Broadway plays and about.
an equal number of Off-Broad-
way plays that are worth the time!
and effort during the two weeks
or so spent in New York.
A Walk Uptown
But the real show is not inside
the musty old theatres but cut
in the fresh, nippy December air.
A walk up Fifth Avenue this time
of year is more a delight than
any "bright new" musical. Ail the
stores put on their Christmas best.
Walking from 32nd Street up-
town, you pass Gimbel's and
Macy's on Sixth Avenue (or by
its proper name, the Avenue of
the Americas). Puppets (not so
little) go through actions in
Christmas or fairyland scenes in
the store windows.
The stores put up bars to con-
trol the flow of the crowds watch-
ing 'these displays. Little children'
are lifted up by their parents or
brothers or sisters and they press
their noses to the window, sup-
posedly to get a better look. But
their breath just clouds up their
view and they have to back away.
Rockefeller Center will have its
big Christmas tree on display and
the skaters will skim along the
ice in the plaza while hundreds of
tourists watch on.
Exam Cram
The New York Public Library on
Fifth Avenue will be filled with
students studying for their up-
coming exams after the vacation
and Madison Square Garden will
offer plenty of sports action in
the way of the yearly Christmas
tournaments in college basketball
and hockey. The pros will also
display their skills in the Garden.
And this year, Yankee Stadium
will most probably host the Na-
tional Football League Champion-
ship Game.
There is very little chance of"
getting in to see that game. Your
best bet is to drive away from the
city for a hundred miles or so,
rent a motel room with a TV and
watch the game in warm comfort,
since the game is blacked-out in
the New York area. Since thous-
ands of otherswill have the same
idea, rent that room early,
The New York City Ballet, back

from its tour of Europe and Rus-
sia will present its annual pro-
duction of Tchaikovsky's "The
Nutcracker," at the New York
City Center. There will be music
for everyone's taste from the new
Philarmonic Hall at Lincoln Cen-
ter to the old Carnegie Hall.
Art Museums
The Museum of Modern Art on
53rd Street between Fifth and
Sixth Aves. will be open, as will
the Metropolitan Museum of Art
with its $2.3 million dollar Rem-
brandt, "Aristotle Contemplating
the Bust of Homer."
In Central Park, skating will be
offered as it will be in many of
the borough skating rinks. The
New York City Building in Blush-
ing Meadows, Queens, is open
every winter for both ice and
roller skating.
And on Christmas Eve, St. Pat-
rick's Cathedral on Fifth Ave. will
hold its annual midnight Christ-
mas mass.
TV Shows
Television programs will be host
to many tourists. The tickets for
these are free, but like Broadway
show tickets, have to be ordered
early by mail. To do so, write to
the show in care of the network
on which it appears.
The great final windup to the
holiday in New York comes on
New Year's Eve. The die-hards will
brave Times Square to watch the
ball on top of the Times Building
fall during the last ten seconds
of the old year. Champagne will
be drunk on the streets, girls will
be kissed by strangers after the
roaring cheer has gone up and
then the couples will walk back
to the night clubs to finish out
the celebration.
And the next day will witness
the exodus of students back to
the University.


Each year almost every area of
the arts or the sciences produces
some marketable commodity for
the Christmas season: at least one
new type of nonburnable, storage-
able synthetic tree is created, ap-
pliances of the most hideous (but
stylish) colors are unveiled, and
droves of new books are released
from publishing houses. Yet one
thing refuses to change, and that
is the Christmas carol.
Since its revival more than one
hundred years ago, the carol has
retained its original Victorian
character. The tradition of the
Christmas carol is by no means a
nineteenth-century tradition, al-
though the most popular of the
carols were products or adapta-
tions of that century.
The carol originated in the fif-
teenth century when the mystery
play was at its height. The mys-
tery play was a religious drama
which enacted the Nativity, and
the carol was an extension of this
drama. The carol was a song usu-
ally sung in ballad form, and thus
it had its roots in common society
as a folk song.
Joy to the World
The word carol is derived from
the Old French word, caroler,
meaning to dance. By nature, the
carol should be a light and joyous
Church To Present
holiday Pro grain
The First C o n g r e g a t i o n a l
Church will present the "Christ-
mas Story" by Heinrich Schultz
during the 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
services on Sunday, Dec. 16. This
choral work will be conducted by
Maynard Klein.

song of an original or spontaneous
character. Even the plainsong of
the fifteenth century, if not dance-
able, contained an element of
spiritual joy.
It is no wonder that various
contemporary musicologists regard
the antiseptic spirit of the nine-
teenth century revival as very
harmful to the carol. In a pam-
phlet released by The Religious
Tract Society in 1825, the old folk
carol "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentle-
men," was rewritten to be sung,
"God Rest Ye, Gentlemen," and
the tract contained further ad-
monishment against gaiety ad-
dressed to,
"Ye young and ye gay,
Ye lovers of sin,
Who sportive with play
Each new year begin."
Not all the carols written or re-
vived in the nineteenth century
were exposed to such rigorous Vic-
torian censorship. In fact, the
Christmas carols most familiar to
us today came from this period
and yet were unknowingly fash-
ioned on the fifteenth century
concept of the religious folk song.
We Three Kings
Such carols as "Silent Night"
and "We Three Kings of Orient
Are" carried on the simple folk
song tradition. While "We Three
Kings" by John Henry Hopkins,
Jr. is in the ballad style, and con-
tains the conventional refrain or
burden repeated after each stan-
za of the carol as well as at the
beginning and the end, "Silent
Night" is written in a simpler
It was conceived by the Austrian
minister Joseph Mohr in a mo-
ment of desperate haste. On the
day before Christmas when the
church organ failed, he wrote a
poem which his organist, Franz

Gruber, set to music. The original
instrumentation of "Silent Night"
was for two male voices (Mohr's
and Gruber's), a choir, and a
guitar. It is impossible to be more
simple or spontaneous, or to come
closer to the folk idiom.
Yet these two carols, along with
the others of the nineteenth cen-
tury, never attain quite the same
charm of the Medieval carol.
Wencestas, Beggar
Who has heard the tale of Good
King Wenceslas and the beggar, or
the dialogue between Mary and
Joseph about the child Jesus
sleeping and not realized that
there was no "spirit ofdChristmas"
to the Medieval mind, but that
Christmas existed as a reality?
The Medieval carol is infectuous
in any mood in which it presents
itself. The carol of the nineteenth
century is but a reflection of that
great period of the English carol.

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decimating the earth. It took cabs
at least half an hour to crawl a
block through the dense and de-
fiant traffic. Pedestrians pushed
each other off the packed side-
walks. Every theatre-even the
flops-was jammed and "The
Sound of Music" had to turn away
5000 customers. People waited up
to six hours to get into Radio City
Music Hall playing Walt Disney
Christmas fare.
Kids and more of Same
Of course, most of this popula-
tion explosion in the borough of
Manhatten was caused by the
"kids, kids, kids." School children
were out enjoying their seasonal
freedom for a few days. Those
college students not in Ft. Lauder-

Thor Johnson,
Program of music for small orchestra:
Symphony No. 83 in G minor (The Hen) ..............Haydn
The White Peacock, from "Roman
Sketches," Op. 7, No. 1 .. . ............ ...... Griffes
Concerto in B-flat major for Harp and Orchestra ........Handel
Fantasy, Chorale and Fugue... Wallace Berry
Concerto in C major for Oboe and Orchestra.............Eichner
Odoru Katachi for Percussion and Orchestra . ..... Huewell Tircuit
Divertimento in D major, Op. 67 ............ . ... Paul Groener
Sun., Dec. 9, 2:30
Rackham Auditorium
Tickets: $2.50 and $2.00

Open Monday Evenings 'til 9
Sweaters look belier
with the ski look
Combine the new colorful
Scandinavian patterns with
the new crew-neck pullover and
you have the knit hits of campus.
All wool and wonderfully warm

II _

. . . ...... - ------







Stroll among the lighted trees while you listen to

the music of the carolers .

. Maybe you'd like

N,. ^
"I , x

to sing





refreshments in

the campus village shops.
the Christmas spirit.

We know

you'll find

:. *AVOW






Will be there every evening

during shopping

I I r- k I --r- I

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