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Xmas Piano 1

Cologne, Germany

Welcome to the most magical time of the year when the music becomes full of chimes and hot chocolates can't be served up any quicker. So, what's better than a dose of Christmas cheer in the form of an acoustic piano? I couldn't think of anything either. Well, Marcus Sukiennik has the sprinkles to your hot chocolate in the form of his cover album 'Xmas Piano 1'. 10 acoustic interpretations of German Classic Christmas Cheers wrapped up in one bow ready for us all to open.

1. Alle Jahre wieder

Alle Jahre wider translates into English as 'Every year again', a well-known German Christmas Carol. Written in 1837 by Wilhelm Hey [de] the song is usually sung to a melody that is attributed to Friedrich Silcher.

In this interpretation, a gorgeous mix of deepness and cheer finds itself at the forefront of a ballad meets choir acoustic composition. From the traditional to the choppy and fierce this is a piece that will ring in your ears like a sprinkle of Christmas Cheer.

2. Heiligste Nacht

Heiligste Nacht translates into English as Holy Night. This adaptation of a popular Christmas Carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber opens with the smoothness of jazz and the skill to match. Imagine a jazz bar in the middle of New York on Christmas Eve and you have envisioned this beautifully slick and tasteful rendition.

3. Ihr Kinderlein kommet

"Ihr Kinderlein, kommet" ("Oh, come, little children") is a German Christmas carol. The original production was written in several parts - the lyrics by a Catholic priest and writer Christoph von Schmid in 1978 before being set to music in 1837 by Franz Xaver Luft.

This speedy composition takes listeners on a one-horse open slay of a ride with its choppy bass notes and uplifting higher octave major keys. The ending is superb.

4. Jingle Bells

Well, where do I begin here? This is a truly unique expression of a traditional Christmas Classic! The way that this piece has been articulated is highly intricate, different and inspirational. Glimmers of the traditional melody sneak into the piece to offer familiarity but for the most part, this is a wholly other composition! A brilliant piece.

5. Kommet, ihr Hirten

This piece is a journey, to where or whom I did not know upon first listening. I have since discovered that 'Kommet, ihr Hirten' (translated in English as Come, ye Shepherds) os a German Christmas Carol from Bohemia which had derived from a Czech Carol. Isn't it interesting and warming to hear of cross-cultural unity? The synopsis of the piece takes elements from the nativity story, the Annunciation to the Shepherds and their journey to the manger of Christ.

In the interpretation of Marcus Sukiennik, there's a gothic feel to its expression, both happiness and sadness within its manuscript. An interesting enigma of a piece that I will listen to time and time again throughout and after the Christmas period.

6. Leise rieselt der Schnee

Leise rieselt der Schnee (which translates as "The snow falls softly") is said to bee one of the most famous Christmas songs in the German language. It was composed in 1895 in Graudenz by the Protestant pastor Eduard Ebel (1839–1905) and published under the title Weihnachtsgruß in his volume Gesammelte Gedichte.

Back to the Jazz bar we go - Marcus Sukiennik's adaptation of this composition deserves to be sipped neither shaken nor stirred. Take it just as it is and it'll go down just perfectly. Be mindful, take it all in and enjoy the show.

7. Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann

Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann (Tomorrow Comes Santa Claus) is a German Christmas Carol originating from the lyrics of 1835 by Hoffmann von Fallerslebenand the melody of the French folk song 'Ah ! vous dirai-je, maman'

Twinkle Twinkle little star - this song shines a light on Santa. With hints of the classic Oh! Shall I tell you, Mama) - a popular children's song in France and also known as twinkle twinkle little star in the UK, from the opening listeners are immediately drawn back into their childhood or if currently a child, into their most innocent and exciting of times.

Played in a choppy and excited manner causes the piece to feel childlike - I envisioned Christmas Elfs running around getting everything ready for Santa to set off on his journey. Have a listen and see what your imagination creates - it is Christmas after all.

8. O Jesulein zart

This is a song that interests me deeply. An unknown history to me, with all to ponder. A mid-tempo performance that offers a storytelling format rather than a Christmas Carol or Hymm. The piece progresses as it develops lifting out several emotions and transitions to aid listeners to grasp that this piece is a story. A tale of Christmas.

9. O Tannenbaum

'O Tannenbaum' translating into English as 'O Christmas Tree' is a German Christmas song that isn't Christmas related in origin. It became associated with the traditional Christmas tree by the middle of the 19th century and was sung as a Christmas carol.

With Splutters and splashes of traditional hymns and jazz interpretation, this version of 'O Tannenbaum' hints at a Gospel tone - fun, uplifting and full of soul. All that's missing is the choir itself! Great execution of a classic!

10. Stille Nacht

If you don't know 'Stille Nacht' maybe you know it as 'Silent Night'? Who in the Western world doesn't know this integral piece of Christmas? Ending the story with a song that unites many a listener is in the true spirit of Christmas. Now, which track was your favourite? I couldn't possibly pick one!


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