Sunday, November 28, 2004

Christmastime music at our house

I am a Christmastime music junkie, as dear husband will attest, but I hold off until after Thanksgiving unless something happens such as my husband pointing out the release of Barenaked Ladies' Barenaked for Christmas a week or so ago.

The first post-Thanksgiving Christmastime music to be played in our house was a dilemma. Some years I want to sing along, so it's the Penn State Glee Club's 1992 recording, P.S. Merry Christmas. Most years I really want to hear one of my favorite medieval Advent/Christmas recordings, and that was my intent this year. Yet, while pulling out my armload of Xmastime CDs and venerable cassette tapes I found myself humming "In Dulci Jubilo," so obviously I had to find that somewhere in my holiday collection.

I thought I was going to find it on A Renaissance Christmas, part of a boxed set from the Boston Camerata (with A Medieval Christmas and A Baroque Christmas). But no.

Now playing: Christmas with the Cambridge Singers, conducted by John Rutter. We finally got to "In Dulci Jubilo" and it's much too slow! C'mon, pick it up, step lively!

I will definitely switch to medieval Christmas music for Christmas CD No. 2 of the season. I'm missing my fix of Nova, Nova and Nowel, Owt of Your Slepe with obnoxiously fun krumhorns or whatever.

Here's a well-worn and -loved cassette that inaugurated the season for me for many years: Sing We Noel: Christmas Music from England and Early America, from the Boston Camerata. I still play it, but it's a bit slow in spots from stretched-out tape.

Later I'll probably cheer up my lovable humbug-Mr-Grinch husband with Christmas Island, by Leon Redbone. We also have Amy Grant, street musicians, hammered dulcimer, Glenn Miller band, Frank Sinatra et al., a Rounder label compilation, the Roches, the Miserable Offenders, and a bunch more.

A year or so ago I got Music for Little People's A Child's Celebration of Christmas for the kids to enjoy -- fun versions of Rudolf etc.

What Christmas music do you love to play? Did you add something different recently for some reason?

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