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Songbook Review: A Candlelight Christmas 2
Joe Bongiorno with Amy Janelle
Cover image of the songbook A Candlelight Christmas 2 by Joe Bongiorno with Amy Janelle
A Candlelight Christmas 2
Joe Bongiorno with Amy Janelle
2021 / Piano Haven
58 pages / 12 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
A Candlelight Christmas 2 songbook is the companion sheet music book for Joe Bongiorno's 2021 recording by the same name and is the follow-up to Joe's 2010 album and songbook, A Candlelight Christmas. Eleven of the pieces are arrangements by Joe (8) or his wife, Amy Janelle (3), and there is one original piece composed by Joe called "We Come Together." On the back of the CD, it says, "A little more Christmas music to unwind to..." so that gives you an idea of the spirit and style of the music. Most of the pieces have flowing broken chords on the left hand rather than the more blocked chords found in hymnals and many "sing-along" books. Intended to be played as piano solos, not accompaniments, some liberty has been taken with the traditional timing of a few pieces, but all of them are very easily recognizable and the arrangements are expressive and very beautiful.

The songbook is available as a printed spiral-bound book and as a PDF download; individual pieces can also be downloaded. The front cover is an enlargement of the beautiful album cover artwork by Matt Strieby of Newleaf Design. The songs were all transcribed by John Zechiel and are note-for-note matches to the recording. The layout is roomy, clear, and very easy to read. Pedaling suggestions and metronome settings are included. There are a few places where one hand crosses over the other, but I didn't find any reaches of more than an octave. I would rate all of the pieces at an upper-intermediate to early-advanced playing level. I really enjoyed playing through the book and will play it often during the holiday season! It's a beautiful book and I highly recommend it!

The titles of the songs, the key(s) they are in, and the number of pages are:

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Key of D (2 sharps) - 5 pages
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 6 pages
Mary, Did You Know? - Key of F# minor (3 sharps) - 4 pages
Do You Hear What I Hear? - Key of B (5 sharps) - 5 pages
O Little Town of Bethlehem - Key of F (1 flat) - 5 pages
Bell Carol - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 4 pages
We Come Together - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 4 pages
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 5 pages
We Three Kings - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 4 pages
Deck the Halls - Key of F (1 flat) - 5 pages
Angels We Have Heard on High / O Come All Ye Faithful - Key of A (3 sharps) - 5 pages
Jingle Bells - Key of G (1 sharp) - 5 pages
November 6, 2021
This songbook has been tagged as:
Holiday SongbooksHoliday Songbooks 2021
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