Merry Christmas Pianomania

Merry Christmas Pianomania
Composer Jeroen van Veen
Artist Jeroen van Veen piano
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 96916
EAN code 5028421969169
Release October 2023

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About this release

This album features Christmas music for the piano in a timeless journey through the decades and centuries. These songs have been through a remarkable evolution over the course of several centuries, with the changes they have undergone reflecting the shifting musical styles and cultural influences that prevailed in various times.

The development in popularity of the piano as a household instrument in the 19th century contributed to the spread of traditional Christmas carols and tunes. Christmas songs were made more approachable to a wider audience because of the attractive piano arrangements that composers such as Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Liszt devised for them. Then, throughout the 20th century, Christmas songs were composed in a wide variety of musical styles. Jazz, blues, and popular music were all significant influences on composers during this period. Composers such as Irving Berlin created Christmas songs centred around the piano that went on to become instant classics. An example that epitomizes this era is Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’. The growth of Christmas carols arranged for piano is a monument to the everlasting spirit of the Christmas holiday as well as the development of musical styles throughout the course of history.

For this album, Jeroen van Veen has collected both well-known and lesser-known Christmas songs and arranged many of them for his own piano performance. The programme is freely, alternating slow with up-tempo and virtuosic with intimate songs. Some of the tracks are medleys combining two or more songs. Highlights include the ‘Christmas Fantasy’ by Alexander Rosenblatt, a virtuoso piece that combines several tunes, and the Fred Oldenburg version of ‘Silent Night’, written in answer to a challenge from some of the jazz teachers at the Enschede conservatory to use the strangest chords to harmonise the well-known song.

Packaged to make it the perfect Christmas gift for music and piano lovers, the two CDs come in an attractive tin along with four festive postcards featuring sunflowers in winter.

- For this unique album Dutch pianist Jeroen Van Veen collected Christmas Songs from all over the world. The arrangements, either by well known musicians and/or by himself, present a wide spectrum of styles, from the most simple and intimate medieval song to an elaborate jazzy or minimalistic guise: a fascinating journey of moods, emotions and atmospheres, the well known melodies going through many unexpected transformations.
- Dutch pianist, pioneer and champion of Minimalism Jeroen van Veen plays the piano in his inimitable way: focused, serene and hypnotizing. Praise for Jeroen van Veen on Brilliant Classics: ‘Van Veen is quite brilliant in the quirky fourth [Philip Glass Etude] and his reading of the exquisite, valedictory 20th is excellent.’ Gramophone. ‘Jeroen van Veen’s recording can stand alongside the best from any source, and this [Arvo Pärt] set is worthy of high praise in every regard.’ MusicWeb International. ‘Van Veen is a supremely eloquent performer of his own music. His touch is remarkably varied, carrying none of the hammered urgency of, for example, Michael Nyman’s performances of Nyman.’ Fanfare.


Track list

Disk 1

  1. Jeroen van Veen: Joy to the World & O Come All Ye Faithfull
  2. Jeroen van Veen: It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
  3. Jeroen van Veen: The First Noel
  4. Jeroen van Veen: O Come, O Come Emmanuel
  5. Jeroen van Veen: O Little Town of Bethlehem & O Holy Night
  6. Jeroen van Veen: Silent Night
  7. Jeroen van Veen: What Child Is This? & Away in a Manger
  8. Jeroen van Veen: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen & Ukrainian Bell Carol
  9. Jeroen van Veen: Go, Tell it on the Mountain
  10. Jeroen van Veen: Fantasy on Ode to Joy
  11. Jeroen van Veen: O Come, O Come Emmanuel & Come, Thou Almighthy King
  12. Jeroen van Veen: Angels We Have Heard On High & Come, Christians, Joint o Sing
  13. Jeroen van Veen: It Came Upon the Midnight Clear & To God Be the Glory
  14. Jeroen van Veen: Good Christian Men, Rejoice & Rejoice, the Lord is King
  15. Jeroen van Veen: O Come, All Ye Faithfull & Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
  16. Jeroen van Veen: Oh Worship the King & Angels from the Realms of Glory
  17. Jeroen van Veen: What Child is This? & Fairest Lord Jesus
  18. Jeroen van Veen: We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  19. Jeroen van Veen: Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

Disk 2

  1. Jeroen van Veen: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
  2. Jeroen van Veen: O Christmas Tree & We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  3. Jeroen van Veen: O Holy Night
  4. Jeroen van Veen: O Little Town of Bethlehem & O Come, All Ye Faithfull
  5. Jeroen van Veen: Silent Night
  6. Jeroen van Veen: Gesu Bambino
  7. Jeroen van Veen: Jingle Bells
  8. Jeroen van Veen: Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella
  9. Jeroen van Veen: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  10. Jeroen van Veen: Masters in This Hall
  11. Jeroen van Veen: O Little Town of Bethlehem
  12. Jeroen van Veen: Wexford Carol
  13. Jeroen van Veen: We Three Kings of Orient Are
  14. Jeroen van Veen: Bethlehem Morning
  15. Jeroen van Veen: Christmas Fantasy
  16. Jeroen van Veen: Stille Nacht
  17. Jeroen van Veen: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  18. Jeroen van Veen: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  19. Jeroen van Veen: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  20. Jeroen van Veen: White Christmas