by Mona Seghatoleslami
Are you ready?
The picture above is of the Christmas-related CDs we’ve received this year. These are a small percentage of the library’s full holiday collection. The new ones started showing up around September, so I’ve been saving them up. I wasn’t ready for them in September, and I’m not quite ready now. Don’t even get me started on the Christmas music and decorations at the mall!
I do look forward to some of this music. I like hearing really good early music groups play Christmas music and things that you don’t know are Christmas-y until someone tells you afterwards. Also, I have a fondness for Corelli’s Christmas Concerto and some of the cantatas that J.S. Bach wrote for Christmas and surrounding holidays. And you don’t have to ask me twice to play some Leroy Anderson.
So tell me…do you look forward to or dread Christmas music? When do you think it’s time to start playing Christmas music? Are there any classical holiday favorites you want to hear this year?
Leave a comment with your thoughts! (or email email@example.com)
|When i think of chirstmas music, i think of epiphany also...the 12 days. |
I enjoy all the eras of music. I guess ANCIENT would be mostly gregorian chant, but what there is of secular music from this era i am unfamiliar. If there is some, I would like to hear it. are madrigals from this era?
I am interested in international / multicultural christmas music. I have heard native american, african, asian, etc and would enjoy hearing some music from around the world. not translations of our american songs, but authentic other-culture songs, music.
HODIE, MAGNIFICAT, GLORIA in various settings and from various eras, I would find enjoyable.
What do 20th century composers offer?
I listen to christmas music year-round for its spiritual value. I am resigned that the american consumerism has hi-jacked christmas to profiteer from it, but i am also grateful that however the meaning of christmas can be proclaimed, even by consumerism its meaning is still out there, and those who what to hear and receive it, hopefully will.
a few years ago, as i walked into a store, welcomed by the singing chipmunks. i was asked by a clerk: may i help you? before i could filter my response, I said: YES, KILL THE CHIPMUNKS. I apologised and walked on.
Posted by: Radio at 11/20/2008 3:51 PM
|Last week a few of us were sitting in the TA office being barraged with the sounds of the piano lab down the hallway. Their piece du jour was an ungodly cutesy arrangement of "Jingle Bells," complete with taped percussion. The consensus in the office was that playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving is only acceptable if you are an ensemble, particularly at the middle or high school level, preparing for the usual early/mid December Christmas concert. If you are a college age student preparing for a piano proficiency exam, you can hold off on one-fingered carols until after Thanksgiving break.|
On the other hand, I teach music history and often have to use Christmas music out of season, although it falls into Mona's category of music you don't know is Christmasy until somebody tells you it is. Yes, it's September, but if the anthology's examples for the development of medieval polyphony are various settings of "Viderunt omnes," the gradual for Christmas day, then we have Christmas in September. Last week I was playing a chorale prelude by Buxtehude on "Nun komm der Heiden Heiland" (Now come, Savior of the Heavens), an advent chorale.
I also sing Sacred Harp, and since we only meet once in December before Christmas, the Christmas tunes come out in November. The Sacred Harp doesn't have too many tunes in it for Christmas, but there are a number in the various tunesmith and shapenote traditions. William Billings was a particularly prolific composer of Christmas music. The Tudor Choir has an album called "American Christmas" full of that kind of music.
While I'm on my Americanist soapbox, I'll plug one more piece: William Henry Fry's "Santa Claus" symphony. Fry (1813-1864) was a composer and music critic in New York City. His Santa Claus symphony was inspired by "The Night Before Christmas," and includes the first orchestral use of a solo saxophone. Most of the piece isn't very explicitly Christmasy, but about 2/3 of the way through there is a snowstorm. Then the clock strikes twelve, and St. Nick appears!
Posted by: Sarah1283 at 11/23/2008 9:59 AM