As long as there’s Christmas, there will be music to warm hearts and make everyone, young and old, want to sing and dance together – like the music playing right now for Disney’s Enchanted Christmas at Disneyland Paris.From old classics to the latest hits, quieter songs to festive favourites, there is something to suit all styles and tastes.We met up with the musicians who create this festive spirit so that we are even more in tune with what is going on!
As long as there’s Christmas, there will be music to warm hearts and make everyone, young and old, want to sing and dance together – like the music playing right now for Disney’s Enchanted Christmas at Disneyland Paris.From old classics to the latest hits, quieter songs to festive favourites, there is something to suit all styles and tastes.We met up with the musicians who create this festive spirit so that we are even more in tune with what is going on! CHILDHOOD CLASSICS Traditional Christmas songs like Jingle Bells or Petit Papa Noël are some of the classics which inevitably bring us back to our childhood days. That’s what Mickey’s Magical Christmas Lights –the Main Street, U.S.A. Christmas tree lighting ceremony– is all about, explains Vasile Sirli, Director Music, Disneyland Paris: “We decided to create a warm, traditional atmosphere, by performing merry songs at a rather slow tempo. We wanted rich, natural tones of voice similar to operetta. When it came to choosing the instruments, we opted for those which produce authentic sounds, like the violins, which add softness and elegance to songs.” It’s all about emotion in the all-new Walt Disney Studios Park production, Goofy’s Incredible Christmas, which transforms Hollywood Tower Hotel into the backdrop for a firework display and spectacular projection show in between clips of quiet and extravagant party scenes from Disney films. Guests are surrounded by the magic of As long as there’s Christmas/Tant qu’il y aura Noël –a song from Beauty and the Beast 2 – The Enchanted Christmas– and the glimmer of around ten candles which light up on the arrival of Santa Claus, and the famous Nutcracker is played while Goofy’s Christmas tree is being decorated. Tchaikovsky’s ballet music is also particularly important to Vasile Sirli: “I come from Eastern European and when I was a child “The Nutcracker” didn’t have the same meaning at all. It was on the radio all the time, even in July. It was only much later in life, on arriving in France, that I discovered this American tradition, making this piece of music a real symbol of the festive spirit.” Also involved in the arrangement was Marco Marinangeli, who has been working on Disneyland Paris shows for a long time. As a talented musician who is tongue-in-cheek, he took great delight in hiding another well-known melody –Chante, c’est Noël, written by Vasile Sirli in 2008, and which was an instant success outside Disneyland– in the Goofy’s Incredible Christmas soundtrack. Will you figure out where? VIDEOPOLIS KEEPS IT SWINGING! All the big names in Jazz –Louis Armstrong (Christmas in New Orleans, 1955), Duke Ellington (The Nutcracker, 1960), Miles Davis (Blue Christmas, 1962) or more recently Jamie Cullum (Show Me the Magic, 2016)– have been on the Christmas play list at some point in their careers. And it is following their lead that our favourite mouse has decided to adapt the most popular festive classics on the stage of Vidéopolis in Mickey’s Big Band Christmas. As a jazz-lover himself, responsible for music and a conductor at Disneyland Paris, Robert Fienga, was only too happy to help Mickey as music director for the project. “This show pays tribute to the great names in swing in the 1940s, from Glen Millar to Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Harry James. To write the music, I used arrangements by a jazz expert, Tom Kubis, which I adapted to our ensemble, which includes the piano, double bass and drums for the rhythm, as well as four saxophones, three trumpets and three trombones playing live. I also included a guitar and a vibraphone, to enhance the sound.” The highlight of this show is without a doubt when Mickey Mouse shows his talents as a drummer. “Mickey’s performance is typical of the jungle style of jazz legend, Gene Krupa. He created this very unique way of playing the drums on floor toms,” added Robert Fienga. And we improved the rhythm in Sing. It all starts with Mickey’s virtuoso solo, which then transforms into a duo with the drummer in the orchestra, before ending on a high as a trio with all the tap dancers, in a breath-taking scene directed by Emmanuel Lenormand and choreographed by Matt West.”
As a throwback to the days of Walt Disney – this track was composed in 1936 by Louis Prima, none other than the original voice of King Louis in the Jungle Book and the solo trumpet in the legendary clip I Wan’na Be Like You.