Friday, December 09, 2005

Christmas Music favorites

In response to Saint Peter's Helpers, I wanted to post a bit about specific Christmas CD's that I like. I don't have an extensive collection. I'm notorious for being behind the times technologically, so, just when I get a collection going, they change the mode of delivery and I have to start all over again!

I have CDs from two groups local to Maryland that I enjoy around Christmas. One is Larksong, that performs (under a different name, I think) at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. I have 3 of their CDs, one of which is called Softly the Stars are Shining. They are a small vocal group and their CDs will sound more like live (read "not necessarily perfect") performances, which, as a vocalist, I don't mind.

Another cool MD group are the Columbia Brass out of Columbia, MD. Their Christmas CD includes such favorites as Ave Verum, Greensleeves and Hallelujah Chorus.

I have good luck sometimes buying classical CDs at "regular" music stores. They are often on sale because no one but me ever buys them! I have one I like (Actually 2 CDs) titled, The 50 Greatest Songs of Christmas. Each song lists the group that performs it, which is a good way to avoid fake elevator-music type CDs. It has a mix of secular and sacred type Christmas music.

I always bring out Handel's Messiah around this time of year too. It works for both Christmas and Easter. Can't forget the old favorite, The Nutcracker Suite. A very motivating, dance-around-the-room type CD!

Another great CD is Manheim Steamroller, A Fresh Aire Christmas. They have many favorites, including, In dulci Jubilo, The Holly and the Ivy, and my favorite, Lo How a Rose E're Blooming.

Something I love to hear but don't have on CD are Lessons and Carols. It is one thing that the Anglicans do that I think is worth borrowing. It is either done as an Advent Lessons and Carols (in which case you have to find a bunch of *Advent* songs--not easy) or Christmas Lessons and Carols. Each carol is interspersed with a Scripture reading.

The public radio stations like to play it, often on Christmas Eve Day, and I LOVE to hear it! I really need to see if I can find it on CD. As a former choir member, I love to see what songs they will find to sing. This a quite a challenge for any choral leader and is hard work to put together!

Enjoy the music of the Season!


Saint Peter's helpers said...

Thank you 4HC! I'm going to check out some of the titles you recommended particularly the Columbia Brass, the Manheim Steamroller and the 50 Greatest Songs of Christmas. It's nice to have some variety of Christmas melodies, classical and contemporary. Thanks again!

4HisChurch said...

You're welcome!

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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