Christmas has become a season of increasing frustration for me. It's taken me a number of years to appreciate precisely what was my favourite aspect of the celebrations and in the famous words of Joni Mitchell: "Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you've got till it's gone."
Christmas used to be the only time of the year you could walk into a shopping mall or a grocery store and encounter truly sublime music. No longer. It's now interminable, tacky, overwrought Christmas pop. I swear, if I have to hear "Rock Around the Christmas Tree" one more time, I will scream. (That one is kind of cute, but one listen per annum is plenty.)
So as a public service, I am going to post a series of Christmas music videos, part of the playlist I've been compiling to console myself in the absence of my Christmas CD's which are far, far away. Warning: my tastes are eclectic, but all of these will share the characteristic of being explicitly religious. You don't have to be religious to enjoy them though. I like music that stands on its own. If you don't like today's offering, come back for tomorrow's. It will be something quite different.
We're starting off with a small a cappella choir singing "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" and "The Blessed Son of God." The first is from a beautiful old German hymn that is almost never done by pop singers, because the intricate interplay of voices is part of its charm. I guarantee you haven't heard this one ad nauseum in the shopping centres. More's the pity. I could hear this one many, many times before nausea set in.
From the "Christmas at Baylor" DVD.
In passing, if you like choral music, try to take in university concert choirs. There's nothing like a choir made up almost entirely of music majors.
Technorati tags: Christmas music, Lo, how a rose e'er blooming, Christmas at Baylor
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