Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Carol for Beethoven

Carol of the Beethoven

I was asked by pianist/blogger friend Erica Sipes the other day if I had any favorite piano arrangements of The Carol of the Bells. Curiously, the first thing that popped into mind was this fun little Kabalevsky teaching piece:

Of course, it doesn't really qualify since it's basically in major instead of ominous minor - speaking of which, while considering the Ukranian carol tune, I realized for the first time that its basic four-note motif is also the beginning of the famous Die irae chant, which has been featured by so many composers. It occurred to me briefly that Liszt's fabulous Totentanz, based on the Dies irae, could easily be converted into some sort of wild exploration of those sweet, silver bells, but I chose only to go this far:

...and that was far enough.

However, the stupid tune was dancing in my head and soon it had danced its way into Beethoven's 5th. I'm proud to say I whipped this up in just a few hours, though I wish I'd invested more time in making it easier to play. But, since Beethoven's birthday comes but once a year, I figured I'd better get it posted today, so there it is [at the top of the post].

Happy Beethoven Day!

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