On the fifth day of Christmas, tradition gave to me: <br> Five Colinde | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On the fifth day of Christmas, tradition gave to me:
Five Colinde

I served an LDS mission to Romania. While I was there, I fell in love with their Christmas carols, which are called colinde. When I came home from my mission, pretty much the only thing I had to do in order to complete my degree was my senior recital, and I knew that I definitely wanted to do a set of Romanian colinde on it.

I engaged the help of my friend Liz, who was a piano performance major at BYU and had served with me in Romania. Together, we arranged the carols to be something a little more interesting to listen to, and yet still keep their Romanian character. She did an amazing job with the piano accompaniments. These songs didn't have any accompaniments at all: you could only find sheet music with the melodies and maybe some choir harmonies written out, so we really had our work cut out for us.

I painstakingly put all of this on a player (thanks Erin, for the help!) so you can hear it, too. This is me and Liz making Romanian Christmas music together at my senior vocal recital TEN years ago! (November 13, 1998.)





Romanian Colinde
Here's a little about each song (Frankly, I am too lazy to write out entire translations...besides, I'd have to look a lot of words up anyway. It's been 11+ years since I was in Romania!):


1. O ce veste minunată! (Oh, What Wonderful News!)

This song is about the news of Christ's birth, and that he would ultimately die for us in order to atone for our sins. I lose it a little bit (a lot) emotionally at the end of this piece, when the lyrics get to the part about how he will redeem us (să ne mântuiască). So, maybe you could just end it early, because it's really kind of embarrassing and it doesn't sound good at all.

2. Astăzi s-a născut Hristos (Today Christ was Born)

This is a fun, lighthearted carol about the birth of Christ, and I did not cry while singing it. The main chorus says "Lăudaţi şi cântaţi, şi vă bucuraţi" which means "Praise and Sing and Rejoice." Love it.

3. Bună dimineaţa la Moş Ajun (Good Morning to Santa Claus)

Another lighthearted little carol, all about whether or not we'll get gifts! "Ne daţi ori nu ne daţi?" basically means "Are you giving us stuff or not?" If my kids were Romanian, this is the song they'd probably be singing all the time.

4. Moş Crăciun (Father Christmas)

Just a beautiful melody all about Santa/Father Christmas. How he comes with his long white hair and gives the little girls and boys gifts, and never forgets to come at Christmas time and so on. Very popular in Romania.

5. La Vitleem, colo-n jos (Down There in Bethlehem)

This really is my all time favorite Christmas Carol, it even beats out O Holy Night. I need to remember to sing it for my kids this year. I just think it's hauntingly beautiful, and it perfectly captures my feelings about what Mary must have felt that night in Bethlehem. It talks about how Mary birthed Jesus and laid him in a manger meant for oxen, and how she cried quietly after she had him because she had no clothing for him. The climax of the song says "Nu mai plânge Maica mea!" which means "Don't cry anymore my mother!" and goes on to say that we will bring him clothing in order to swaddle the Holy Babe. I ended my entire recital with this piece...understated but powerful.

These colinde mean so much to both Joel and me (Joel also served in Romania, in case you didn't know) and we often listen to them at Christmas time. (We have other recordings...so we don't usually listen to me singing, but I really love these particular arrangements and wanted to share them with you.) Brings back all sorts of wonderful memories every time.

I hope you enjoy them!

39 comments :

  1. I can't wait for it to be later in the day and more people awake around my house so I can come back and listen. I am SO very curious to hear these. I love carols.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your beautiful talent with us. The piano is beautiful, too! It really doesn't matter that I don't understand the words.

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  3. What beautiful carols. You are amazing. Thank you for taking the time to get all of that in a format to share with us!

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  4. What beautiful music sung with and amazing voice! Very lovely. And I think that is so neat that both you and your husband served in Romania. Is that where you met?

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  5. And I forgot to say that the last song really is just "hauntingly beautiful" as you put it. Wonderful.

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  6. These songs are absolutely amazing. Thank you for your efforts to share them. I've had your music playing non-stop in my house since I discovered this post earlier today. :)

    -Francesca

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  7. I saw your blog mentioned here today :)

    http://mormonmommyblogs.blogspot.com/

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  8. BEAUTIFUL!! You are so talented!!

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  9. OK, I'm being lazy as I have a lot of blogs to catch up on so I'm doing the "one comment for lots of posts" thing even though I HATE doing that because I really like to do an individual thing. . .so forgive me!!!

    But I am loving your 12 days. So fun to tsee the pictures, hear the music, just see Christmas in different ways each day. You are so stinking creative!

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  10. I'm sure you are more than perfectly aware, but--wow!!! What a voice!! You look too tiny to have that come out of you! How neat that you both served in Romania so you can both enjoy these carols.

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  11. I totally remember you singing these at your recitle....I remember going! WOW...was it 10 years ago? Anyway, they were beautiful then, and are now. :)

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  12. Lara, this is SOOOO beautiful!

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  13. GORGEOUS!!! I nead a c.d of you singing, so I can listen to it all day! I really enjoyed listening to each one.

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  14. A) Man, you have a lot of comments.
    b) If I put a thing of me singing on my blog people would never come back.
    C) You are an amazing singer. Rock on.

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  15. Thank you. It was so beautiful!

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  16. These are beautiful. Thanks for sharing!☺

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  17. simply amazing!

    my whole office is enjoying them right now.

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  18. amazing!

    thank you for sharing!

    I served a mission too, but not to a cool place like Romania !!!

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  19. I'm so glad you were able to figure out the music player thing so that we could hear your beautiful music. I am so impressed! It is amazing!

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  20. Just wanted to stop by and wish you a blessed and very Merry Christmas! ♥ Hugs :) Shauna

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  21. I'd forgotten how gorgeous your voice is. Truly amazing. I love the last one too!

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  22. Wonderful, thank you! We were at Brett's the other day and he had Romanian carols on. Love 'em!

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  23. Lara,

    Absolutely gorgeous!! What amazing talent both from you and your pianist. Thank you for making the effort to post it on your blog.

    What a lucky family to have your voice in their home!

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  24. I love to hear my daughter sing! I miss having a lot of music around the house all day long! I have to consciously sing myself, or put music on. You kids were so great a practicing!

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  25. You gave me chills, Lara. I remember you singing O Holy Night in our BYU ward and having the same reaction. Thanks for sharing these awesome songs!

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  26. So beautiful! And I especially loved #4. Maybe we'll play you for our Christmas Program since you won't be here.

    Thank you for that gorgeous music.

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  27. Beautiful music! Thanks for visiting my blog today also. I enjoy reading your posts, and your little girls are so cute. Only boys here! :)

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  28. It is a gift to hear you sing, and even more a gift to hear you singing those beautiful carols. You're incredible.

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  29. As always, your voice is beautiful (then and now!). Thanks for the lovely Christmas gift of sharing your talents with us!

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  30. You did a great job! Beautiful!

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  31. Wow Lara, that was really great! I don't know how becoming emotional in a song can be embarrassing. It adds so much more feeling and meaning to the song. You did each one just beautifully. Thank you for sharing with us. Merry Christmas!

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  32. Sora, those Colinde are FRUMOASE! I especially loved Astazi s-a nascut Hristos, wonderful! Your voice is beautiful and it bring back so many memories of you teaching us these songs in the MTC then singing them in the mission field. I have a CD of Colinde and I listen to them all the time. Thank you for sharing these songs, they made me happy hearing them. :) Craciun Fericite!

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  33. Wow that was fantastic. Again all I can say is you are one Talented Lady!

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  34. Gorgeous. You had us all mesmerized while we sat here eating lunch. Every bit as beautiful as I remember!

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  35. Lara, that was just beautiful! What an amazing talent you have. And it's pretty cool that you could combine it with your mission. Merry Christmas!

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  36. just stunning, lara!! thanks for posting those.

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  37. how come I didn't see this before? it's so beautiful! you have such a great voice, and your pronunciation in Romanian is great! I am so proud of you!

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