Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Music Around the House

My wife is a woman who decks the halls the day after Thanksgiving. One day I wake up and on my way to the coffee maker I stumble through boughs of fake evergreen and I know the dread season has arrived.

It would be unfair to conclude that your correspondent is "grinchy." Christmas was always a very special day in my childhood, a time when family and friends gathered for food and wine and raucous laughter. I enjoy finding or making unique gifts for people I care about. It is not a religious day for me, of course, though I sometimes think about initiating a holiday tradition of reading the Q gospel out loud on Christmas morning.

Sometimes the ubiquity of Christmas-oriented music gets to be a bit much. After all, I don't go blasting Korean Buddhist chanting all day long, not even on Buddha's Birthday. Having performed in enough productions of A Christmas Carol, the familiar chestnuts (roasting on a fire or otherwise) no longer elevate my holiday spirit much, and some of my wife's more pop-oriented selection of Christmas originals occasionally tempts me to insert lit sticks of incense into my ears. Enough, already.

A solution to this problem has been found in combining our musical tastes with Sarah's religion. Voila, this year, the Prophetiae Sibyllarum, sometimes known as the "Christmas motets," of Orlando di Lasso. This lovely performance by Weser-Renaissance under Manfred Cordes now fills Sarah's house with rich chromatics and premonitions of the savior's birth -- actual Christmas music. A beautiful performance of a beautiful work.

And if it gets played over and over again, I can live with it.

The sample below is sung by different singers. Enjoy, if you like this sort of thing. Christmas is coming.

[Image: From a nativity painting by Lorenzo Lotto]


Barry said...

Well, that's lovely music indeed. Thanks for pointing to it.

On the other topic . . . I'm off to PZC soon to sit a coupla chunks of Kyol Che and then will have other adventures. Unless life intervenes, as it usually does. All this is by way of saying that I'm certainly unlikely to work on any article about blogging for Primary Point. In fact, I won't even be working on my blog (except in my head) during the Kyol Che periods.

I hope you and your family have a warm, wonderful solstice and holiday, Algernon!


Kelly said...

I wish I could listen, but my internet connection just won't allow a clip of that length. A shame - I have a feeling I'd love it.

Algernon said...

How about this one, Kelly?

Ji Hyang said...

I'm helping my family with some seasonal music in the same way. Recommend Yo Yo Ma's album, Songs of Joy and Peace as well as this Chanticleer:

quid said...

I loved this!


Kelly said...

Thanks for leaving me a shorter one, Algernon. It's beautiful!!

Kelly said...

Also listened to the clip provided by Ji Hyang. Delightful as well!

Mandy_Fish said...

"Christmas is coming."

You make that sound like a threat. Ha.