Friday, November 19, 2010

In the Spirit of Christmas by Chuck Cape

The season is almost upon us. The time for celebrating the birth of Jesus. One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the music. Late November and December have a melody of their own and the joy and peace is captured in them. You hear it in laughter and even in the background of the hustle and bustle of shoppers at the mall. I look forward to Christmas each year in hopes that a new selection of holiday songs will catch my ear and be added to my collection of favorites. This year it is In the Spirit of Christmas by Chuck Cape. You might not see this CD displayed at your local music store, but don't let it slip past you (it can be purchased at iTunes).
I am a big fan of instrumental keyboard music, especially solo piano, and George Winston's December has been my all-time favorite piano CD. In the Spirit of Christmas belongs right next to it and if I keep listening to it, it may even surpass George on my Christmas instrumental favorites list. Cape has painted musical decorations and a snowfall of notes that fill any room with the joy and wonder of Christmas.

"A Winter's Hymn", with it's beautiful melody has an undercurrent of sadness, much like the sadness that come in the cold, chilly months of winter when all of nature seems to come to a standstill, waiting in silence for the first ray of spring and the dawning of new life. The title fits perfectly the feelings that stirred in me when I first listened: I wanted to kneel in awe of God and His mysterious gift of winter. Capes unique renderings of traditional Christmas carols such as Away in a Manger, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, and Jingle Bells are refreshing and warm the heart like a hot mug of wassail or a cup of hot chocolate warm the body.
I have included a video below for "The Remembrance Carol." I love what Cape says about where the song came from. He says, "My mom was the one that showed me the spirit of Christmas, but life moves on and she passed away a few years ago. I wrote this song the first Christmas after she passed. So, this song is dedicated to my Mom and anyone who has ever missed someone at Christmas." His words breathe life into the song and I can relate to them. This year will mark the 10th year anniversary of the death of my father, who left us suddenly two weeks before Christmas that year and only one week before our annual family Christmas get together. Knowing the story behind the song, it is hard for me not to listen as tears fill my eyes as I remember in sadness, but also in thankfulness of the time I had with my father. So, like Chuck Cape says, this song is for those of us that know what it is like to miss someone as you take in the sights and sound of Christmas.

As you can tell, I recommend this CD to all lovers of Christmas music, especially those of you who, like me, love to hear piano music blanketing the landscape during Christmas. Thank you, Chuck Cape, for a brilliant addition to the ever-expanding playlist of Christmas music.

1 comment:

tim gilbert said...

Chuck is truly an amazing pianist and songwriter. The sounds of his arrangements fill my home during what is the most magical time of year!!