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I enjoy Christmas. I love being with my family on the long stretch of holiday between Christmas and New Year’s. The cold, the snow, and the good food, (natch). It’s a wonderful time of year. The after-Christmas sales can’t be beat either.
One of the things I like most about the season is music. As a self-proclaimed music geek, I’ve played in orchestras and sung in a few chorus and choirs in my time, and the best music was always the winter music. Right now, I’m going to invite you to participate in the spirit of the season and check out my five favorite classic Christmas songs.
Little Drummer Boy – Version: The Harry Simeone Chorale
The voices in this arrangement are so soft and lovely, how could anyone not be affected by this music, I don’t know. The message is so apt to Christmas too: “I am a poor boy too/I have no gift to bring…..Shall I play for you/On my drum? And at the end “…then he smiled at me….me and my drum.” No gift is too small if it’s from the heart.
Hallelujah Chorus – Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Sigh. While the high soprano notes (held over measures and measures) and the counterpoint of the tenors and basses are an earful to behold, the Hallelujah Chorus is actually part of the Easter portion of Handel’s Messiah, the part the section referencing the Passion/Resurrection/Pentecost. Still, it’s a lovely piece of music to listen to anytime.
Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful) – Luciano Pavarotti
I have got the softest spot for tenors and Pavarotti is my favorites of favorites. A gorgeous song, beautifully arranged to suit his lovely voice. Love the soft Latin “g” in “regum angelorum”
O Holy Night – Placido Domingo/Luciano Pavarotti
Two tenors for the price of one. Listen, don’t look because the audio/video synchronization is a little off.
Angels We Have Heard on High
An ethereal rendition of a song loosely based on a French carol.
Stay tuned, for next week, I’ll list my five favorite “popular” Christmas tunes.
What are some of your favorite Christmas carols? Leave ‘em in the comments!