Christmas Music

The two Sufjan Stevens collections - the first (Songs For Christmas 1-5) being the slightly better. Both have a nice mixture of traditional stuff and his own whacky compositions.

I loved my now-departed Mother-In-Law dearly, but we'd have to suffer Jim Reeves Christmas album several times every year...

A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio

Christmas Album by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

Christmas with the Academy, Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner.

I've also got a soft spot for Back Door Santa by Clarence Carter which appears on his Best Of album

I hate Christmas albums. But I am always forced to listen to something like choir music or Andre Rieu when I visit my mother for Christmas.

I tend to avoid this type of music and listen to all kind of music. In general it's a period around Christmas for listening to a lot of music.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Tis a shame, there is great choir music for all year round, not just over sung syrupy carols.

Simon, i am also not so much into choir music that much. For instance the passions they leave me quite cold. It's in the same category as country music and hip-hop for me....., the no go zone.....

Perhaps I should give it some go and start with the passions as they are somewhere closer to what I appreciate....

Well, many of us seem to be repeating recommendations from this similar thread last year, but I suppose a good recommendation is probably worth repeating:

At the risk of not repeating myself, though, I've now listened to all three albums on the Telarc Three Wise Men box-set that I mentioned last November, and they're all highly enjoyable. An Oscar Peterson Christmas has some sedate playing (not surprisingly given this was a post-stroke recording) but it's very tastefully done, Christmas with the George Shearing Quintet is similar in some ways, but possibly a bit more inventive, not least the version of God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen in 5/4 time. The final track has George on vocals, which I don't think was a good call, though. A Dave Brubeck Christmas is all solo piano so rather more intimate but sounds lovely with a nice fire going.

All the discs are 1990s Telarc recordings, so the sound quality is fabulous. At around a tenner for all three from the Usual Tax-Avoiding Website, it's exquisite value and yet another nice change from the usual tripe that pumps out of every second shop door at this time of year.


Richter does it for many people, it's true, but the classical music world was a different country back in the 50s/60s, before period instruments and performance style started to take over. If Richter inhabits a sound world which isn't to your taste, JEG might be worth a listen:

Image result for christmas oratorio gardiner

...or there's this very reasoned and interesting sift through the main versions on the Gramophone website:

Whilst we're in this neck of the woods, I'd also like to put in a shout for Incarnation by Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort (SIGCD346):

Image result for incarnation mccreesh

A collection of some very old and some very new choral music on the theme of Christmas. Incredibly controlled yet passionate performances in the fabulous acoustic of Douai Abbey (I've sung there many a time, and it's a joy).


Likes (0)