Carols From Days of Old on the Bill at Barnegat Library Dec. 15

Dec 05, 2018

People can hear Christmas music from centuries ago on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m. at the Barnegat branch of the Ocean County Library. Musician George Simonovich will perform the songs on the classical guitar and cittern, a stringed instrument dating back to the Renaissance.

He said one song, “Coventry Carol,” is an English Christmas carol dating from the 16th century and is the oldest known carol originating in the English language. The carol was traditionally performed in Coventry, England, as part of a mystery play called “The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors.” The play depicts the Christmas story from chapter two in the Gospel of Matthew; the carol itself refers to the Massacre of the Innocents, in which Herod ordered all male infants under the age of 2 in Bethlehem to be killed, and takes the form of a lullaby sung by mothers of the doomed children.

Another favorite of Simonovich is “Pat-a –Pan,” a French carol written by Bernard de La Monnoye. First published in 1720, the song related the birth of Jesus and described the shepherds as they play the melody using simple instruments – drums and flutes.

“This will be a combination of familiar and obscure tunes,” Simonovich said.

Beginning in the 1970s, Simonovich played in various rock bands and stayed in the classic rock genre until the early 2000s, when he began playing classical guitar. He is currently working on a classical guitar CD, an Italian Classics on Mandolin CD (as Georgio Fabio), and also with “Guitar Guy” Paul Unkert and Gary Olyear on a 1920’s guitar and mandolin CD under the auspices of “The Stool Pigeons.”

To attend the concert, call the branch at 609-698-3331. —E.E.

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