A little palette-cleanser to shift our focus away from stimulating discussions of academe – after all, school is only out for a short while – what ‘holiday’ music do you admire?

This week, I’ve been listening to Anonymous 4’s Wolcum Yule around the house, enjoying both the Renaissance pieces and Maxwell Davies’ “A Calendar of Kings.” A ‘guilty pleasure’ is Vaughan Williams’ Hodie.

6 thoughts on “Holiday Tunes”
  1. Vaughan-Williams: “Fantasia on Christmas Carols” and Haydn: “Missa Sancti Nicolai”
    Both of them “work” really well (I just conducted them and have a more profound appreciation for what can “work” on one rehearsal with the strings, and can still keep me engaged at a midnight mass); the Haydn is just plain fun.

    Britten: “A Boy is Born” (will someone somewhere perform the WHOLE thing? I’ve had to make do with a recording) – so motivically tight and well-paced.

    Bach: “Christmas Oratorio” with a crackerjack early music ensemble never ceases to knock me out.

    Anonymous 4’s early recording “On Yoolis Night”

    Messiaen: “La Nativité” – a colleague of mine played it at 10pm on December 10 (Messiaen’s birthday); the acoustic was right for the piece and I had a ringside seat (I was turning his pages).

  2. This year, the Christmas playlist consisted of:

    The Phil Spector Christmas album (natch)
    A Rhino Rockin’ Collection with the usual folks (Brenda Lee, Chuck Berry, Bobby Helms) BUT, for me, the real star of that show is a KILLER version of “Jingle Bells” by Santo and Johnny
    The Stephen Colbert Christmas Special: The Greatest Gift of All
    Aimee Mann: Another Drifter in the Snow
    The Fab 4’s Christmas discs and the Rubberband’s Beatmas Xmas (whereby familiar Christmas tunes are fashioned into Beatles tunes (i.e. “Rudolph” in modo di “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Jingle Bells” in modo di “Tomorrow Never Knows”)
    “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses (eternally)

    And I did not hear “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” at all this year

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