JOY: carols and songs CD

Price: $14.99
Price: $9.99
 
Frank Wallace, composer/guitarist
Original songs and inspired arrangements of traditional and ancient carols for the season; guitar solo. SPECIAL — 5 CDs for $49.99, click on option arrow in upper cart widget to the right.

Learn about the companion book: A Season of Light.

“Frank Wallace and his JOY deserve a standing ovation. The classical guitar’s gently expressive voice has never been more alive than in Wallace’s capable hands. Bravo!”

Carol Swanson, Christmasreviews.com

Released: October 2007

Guitar by: Ignacio Fleta, 1964

Gyre Publications
Copyright ©2007 Frank A. Wallace
Cover photography and design by Nancy Knowles
All rights reserved.

Track Listing

01 Joy to the World 2:07
02 The First Noel 1:35
03 Silent Night 2:28
04 Sing We to this Merry Company 1:42
05 There is no Rose 2:04
06 O Come Emmanuel 3:15
07 Les Pasteurs de la Judea 1:02
08 Beata Progenies 2:37
09 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 1:47
10 Star in the East 2:37
11 A Shining* 1:41
12 Cuando el Rey Nimrod 2:46
13 A los Maytines . Aro que Nostre 2:34
14 March* 1:56
15 Greensleeves 2:58
16 Coventry Carol 3:44
17 Medley: Noel Nouvelet, Master in This Hall, Amb un Viudo, Stella Splendens 4:54
18 Medley [cont.] On This Day, Carillon*, Dawn of the Doves* 4:33
19 Away in a Manger 2:05
20 O Holy Night 2:38
21 J’ai Ouy la Voix, Santa María Strella do Dia 4:07
22 Venite a Laudare, Per Nadal Farem Gran Festa 3:53

Total time 59:03

COMPANION BOOK
All compositions* and arrangements by Frank Wallace [ASCAP]. The complete companion book, A Season of Light, is available here, with a link to download free sample PDF of six songs. Download free MP3 of O Holy Night.

Frank Wallace’s new solo guitar CD of Christmas music is receiving rave reviews. Fanfare magazine says, “…a beautiful collection of Christmas music from across the centuries, played, composed, and arranged by Frank Wallace…a true master of his instrument…His dynamic range is impressive, and his gradations of tone, constantly singing line, and sensitive musicianship confirm his “elegant virtuosity” (www.classicstoday.com)…a CD that should be heard by “serious” listeners who will give it the time and appreciation it deserves.” — Robert Schulslaper, Fanfare, Nov/Dec 2008

ChristmasReviews.com writes, “Frank Wallace and his JOY deserve a standing ovation. The classical guitar’s gently expressive voice has never been more alive than in Wallace’s capable hands. Bravo!” — Carol Swanson, Christmasreviews.com (Reviewed in 2007)

“Man, this is drop-dead brilliant stuff! Heartiest congrats on a gorgeous job! You have recorded what is now my very favorite holiday CD.”
many thanks, Tom Ball, www.tomball.us

NOTES
One of my fondest memories of childhood in California is the Christmas Eve service at our stucco church. We arrived at 11:00pm to miraculous blazing sentinels that stood guard all around the top of the flat-topped building and lined the stairs and benches of the patio. Each of these warm luminarias was nothing but a paper lunch bag with sand and a candle. We would sing carols outside carryied more candles as we exited the service at midnight.

Those lights had been all but extinguished by time until some mysterious match rekindled their memory in a new form last November. My annual search for better arrangements of carols became a creative marathon. I spent two months exploring many old carols and writing new ones. Each piece came to me practically in the order you hear here and created a progression of keys, moods and textures that speak of the joy and solitude of winter and the hope of re-birth that the season brings to us.

I have chosen music from my childhood, my favorite songs sung on those nights of light, as well as medieval songs to Mary, renaissance part songs, French, Sephardic, English and Catalan folk songs. The story unfolded with little effort on my part. Simple Joys…and may peace reign at last, at long last.

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FANFARE Magazine – November 2008
Robert Schulslaper

JOY—CAROLS AND SONGS FOR A SEASON OF LIGHT • Frank Wallace (gtr) • GYRE 10092 (59:03)

This is a beautiful collection of Christmas music from across the centuries, played, composed, and arranged by Frank Wallace, a guitarist previously unknown to me who is a true master of his instrument. Wallace’s arrangements bring the spirit of the Renaissance to life with rhetorical emphasis, flowing counterpoint, and sparkling variations, and he plays familiar carols with a gentle, expressively nuanced touch. He’s also at home with medieval music, adding idiomatic lines that preserve the spare yet resonant grandeur of Gregorian chant. His dynamic range is impressive, and his gradations of tone, constantly singing line, and sensitive musicianship confirm his “elegant virtuosity” (www.classicstoday.com). Wallace’s carols blend effortlessly with the program’s other selections. A Shining alternates delicately plucked high notes with the melody: flanked by Star in the East and Cuando el Rey, it shares their Middle Eastern or Moorish influence. March is more extroverted, its vigorous melody augmented by quicksilver counterpoint. Carillon is spiced with a few piquant “contemporary” notes and like March is set to a quick tempo: the bells don’t sound in overlapping waves so much as run in separate streams. Descent of the Doves is sweetly gentle yet uplifting, as befits its title.

“JOY,” like the emotion it often transmits, shouldn’t be reserved only for Christmas: its abundant musical pleasures will charm listeners at any time of year. Gyre Music offers a book of “JOY”’s compositions and arrangements, available at www.gyremusic.com. The CD doesn’t come with a booklet, but Wallace’s prefatory nostalgic reminiscence is very much in the spirit of the season. Although it’s easy to imagine “JOY” providing excellent background music to a quiet family gathering, it’s also a CD that should be heard by “serious” listeners who will give it the time and appreciation it deserves.

ClassicsToday.com
Review of JOY by: David Vernier
Artistic Quality: 9
Sound Quality: 9

Taste, musicality, and extraordinary technical facility are among the consistent qualities of Frank Wallace’s performances, whether of his own compositions or those by other masters of the guitar. Unlike many others, some with far more illustrious careers and recording contracts, Wallace plays with exceptional clarity, from seamless, unlabored chord changes (Beata Progenies; God rest ye merry gentlemen–no audible scraping, squeaking, and sliding!) to cleanly defined multi-layered melodic lines (Cuando el Rey; March) to straightforward explication of melody against a sometimes intricate harmonic accompaniment (Greensleeves; Masters in this hall; O holy night). Listening to Wallace play this hour’s worth of Christmas music is not only easy on the ear–it’s pure pleasure.
Read the complete review

Gerry Grzyb, host of the Dr. Christmas radio shows on WRST-FM — America’s most diverse, for 19 years!

Although there are literally hundreds of acoustic guitar Christmas CDs, very few come from classical guitarists. Frank has been a professor of classical guitar at the New England Conservatory, yet this hour of familiar and unfamiliar Christmas music is anything but academic. The combination of the less-common approach to the instrument, the diversity of music, and plain old skill madkes for a highly recommendable disc.
WRST Christmas Programming with Dr. Christmas