Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Christmas Carillon From Bok Tower Gardens

Here's a new subgenre of Christmas music that I've added to my collection - Christmas carillon music.

Last December, I've began searching my local Goodwill, Salvation Army, antique stores, vinyl resale shops, and garage sales for unique Christmas music that I can digitally transfer over.

I found a RCA Victor "Living Stereo" album cover entitled "A Christmas Sound Spectacular" by John Klein at a local Goodwill (no record enclosed unfortunately) that piqued my interest. Thankfully, I found a site that sells this very CD and ordered up a copy.

I then found this album over at Vinyl Orphanage last December when they shared a bunch of wonderful Christmas albums.

Down in Lake Wales, Florida is the Bok Tower Gardens (now Bok Sanctuary) - a sprawling area of bliss established by noted American author Edward Bok and designed by the famous landscape artist Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr.. After the last garden was planted and watered, Bok sensed something was missing. Looking at the sky, he envisioned a great tower with carillons that would ring gentle music through the whole area.

Since its completion in 1929, the Bok Tower has had only three carillonneurs - Anton Brees from 1929 to 1967, Milford Myhre from 1968 to 2004, and William De Turk from 2004 to the present.

Recorded in 1985, Milford Myhre plays a standard set of traditional Christmas music that features old standards like "Good King Wenceslas", "Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella", and "Silent Night". My favorite track on the album is "Carol Of The Bells" for obvious reasons. There is a song on the album entitled "Whence Is That Goodly Fragrance?" that is dull and boring but gets a mention for "Best Song Title On The Album".

Overall, it's a nice change of pace that lasts for about 15 minutes. Any further prolonged listening will make you go insane, causing you to either reside in a bell tower or climbing one with a rifle looking to pick people off.

When I get the other Christmas carillon album that I ordered - "A Christmas Sound Spectacular" - expect a full review (lock the guns now).

THIS JUST IN: Pastor McPurvis informs me that since this album is still for sale at the Bok Tower Gardens gift shop, he removed the album from Vinyl Orphanage. Try e-mailing the gift shop to get the album.

On to the next new Christmas CD in my collection...



101er said...

I recently discovered carillon Christmas music which lead me here. I plan on ordering "A Christmas Sound Spectacular" - thanks for the link by the way. I was wondering two things… one could you recommend a Christmas album that is just purely carillon bells? And two could you repost the “Christmas Carillon from Bok Tower Gardens”, the rapidshare link has expired.

Thanks in advance

CaptainOT said...

101er - "A Christmas Sound Spectacular" is an amazing album - and it's only $8 for the disc through that link (I paid $15!).

If you're looking for strictly a pure carillon album, "Christmas Carillon From Bok Tower Gardens" is the album for you.

I didn't post that album - Pastor McPurvis at did that originally. He just reopened his new site so that's where I would start.

Let me know how the search goes! Thanks for stopping by!


Drew said...

So strange - we visited Bok tower for the first time earlier today. Now I've just randomly wandered across this obscure page about a Christmas album made there. Could you please re-post this album? I'll report back if I listen to it and there are secret alien messages ; )

CaptainOT said...

Drew - Pastor McPurvis informed me that the album is available at the gift shop of Bok Tower Gardens:

To request additional information, please call 863-678-1159, ext. 2227, or e-mail

Good luck with the search!


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