Thursday, December 15, 2011

A cornucopia of Christmas music

In February, I celebrate ten years since a 26-year old college graduate decided to have fun and take voice from a 24-year old master's student earning the degree in vocal performance who needed it to fulfill her degree requirement, and over the years, it has blossomed into an enjoyable friendship with Dr. LaRoche, her pets, her friends, and her (newlywed) husband. I've sung sacred Christmas works at the 2010 Governor's Carolighting (the ceremony was not held in 2011 because of weather) when a makeshift choral group was required because of the lateness of its organisation, and have been part of two one-offs with church choral groups because of the laziness of our own church with Christmas music becoming extremely secular in nature. Monday night is the annual sing-along at Washington Street that I've enjoyed over the years, with Dr. LaRoche, The Brittnee, and the Rattrays in the past.

As someone who appreciates the serious church music of Christmas, and is sad to see many of the works disappear from our daily grind, being replaced by winter songs that are not sensible for the season (remember half of the world it's summer!), let's open a cornucopia of wonderful song for Christmas.

Paderborner Domchor's - Veni Veni Emanuel

Johannes Kalpers - “Hush, hush, hush, for the little child wants to sleep!”. This Austrian folk tune from Salzburg is about the infant Jesus and Mary as they sleep. The song was given to me for the informal recital with friends, and it's become a favourite of mine.

I'm guilty of always (especially the first verse) wanting to sing this in Latin. One of my first Christmas music selections I purchased was a Luciano Pavarotti album (are you kidding me?) and why would he be an inspiration for a college student who hadn't heard much classical music? Once I anchored my boat with the young Mississippi Squirrel, I had gone classical and my steps haven't turned back. A Montréal, chanson "Adeste Fideles," avec Pavarotti . . .

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