Daily Archives: December 17, 2013 11:48 pm

A christmas carol ballet class #17: Battements jetés – Once again in Royal David’s jeté

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It’s christmas, have a carol for your ballet class.

cupcakesTo download the song, either right-click (Mac: ctrl+click) the player above and select ‘save audio as’, or right-click (Mac: ctrl+click) this link and select ‘save link as‘.

OK, I confess – I made such a different arrangement of this song that I convinced myself I was playing Hark the Herald Angels Sing, so I mean it, this really is once again in Royal David’s City. But let’s pretend it’s one of those classes where you do one exercise in the centre, and then you say ‘Now let’s do it again with….’ Go on, please pretend that, so I don’t have to start all over again.

What I was going to say about Hark the Herald Angels Sing (which I haven’t recorded yet, but you can get the blurb anyway) is this:

With a nice bit of irony for the internet age, Mendelssohn’s  tune to ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ was composed as part of a the ‘Festgesang’, with the descriptive subtitle Festgesang zur Eröffnung der am ersten Tage der vierten Säkularfeier der Erfindung der Buchdruckerkunst auf dem Markte zu Leipzig Statt findenden Feierlichkeiten, a sentence with so many nested subsidiary clauses that it’s meaning is pretty much trapped in a high security semantic prison. But basically, it’s a cantata to celebrate the invention of movable type by Gutenberg. The fourth festival of its kind, that took place in Leipzig; the cantata was written for the first day, for the opening. All that’s in the one sentence, mixed up like a Rubik cube.

Considering that both Movable Type (the first blogging platform I ever used, back in 2003) and Gutenberg are such key names of the internet age, perhaps we should do a new version of the words to celebrate the Internet.