JEANNETTE, ISABELLA for concert band
Jeannette, Isabella, arranged for concert band by William Ryden. Hear streaming audio on this page. Suitable for middle school bands, 1 3/4 minutes duration, Grade 1.
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This lovely carol comes from the Provence region of France where it is known as "Un Flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle" (Bring a torch, Jeannette, Isabella). It is believed to date from the 17th century, possibly by Nicholas Saboly (1614-1675).
Like many carols it tells a story. The best-known version is the translation by Edward Cuthbert Nunn (1868-1914) which begins:
The custom of acting out a scene beside the cradle of Jesus goes back to the middle ages. In southern Europe the torches, or candles, of Chanukah -- the Jewish Festival of Lights -- played an important part in Christmas celebrations.
The carol should be played simply and with forward motion but without haste. Keep the tempo steady till the final measures and let it gradually fade out.
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Performance by Donald S. George conducting the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Symphony Band.
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