Hi Tim; The best Christmas music I've ever heard is Anne Murray's "Christmas Wishes". I've had it several years now and we play it a lot around Christmas time, but I don't know if it's still available-- worth looking for though. Cheers. Craig.
I like the GRP Christmas Collection Volume 1 (GRD-9574), 2 (GRD-9650), 3 (GRD-9728). The artists on the GRP label are excellent musicians and it is great for the audiophile.
Happy listening and Merry Christmas!!!!
If anyone likes traditional [Anglican High Church] worship music, (organ/choir,) and does not have Proprius Musik's CANTATE DOMINO, you should change that. Absolutely outstanding in every way. It was recorded in a Swedish cathedral and there are only a couple of hymns that are sung in English, but the emotion needs no translation.
Another recommendation would be Andrea Bocelli's SACRED ARIAS.
Happy Holidays, Charlie.
p.s. I also listen to Xmas offerings from Elvis, Clint Black, Jimmy Buffet, Dean Martin, and others. The season makes me generous with my tastes. [:)]
The Spike Jones classic: "Let's Sing a Song of Christmas"
Does anyone have a favorite (sonically and in terms of performance) version of Handel's Messiah? I have a very dissapointing version with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on CD. I think the performances are good (it's hard to tell), but the sound is all mushed together, it's hard to hear.
My mother was severely reprimanded in high school (Quaker boarding school)for listening to the messiah on a record player, nearly inaudible. Music was reserved only for special occasions, and for the whole group. Maybe that's why she played her collection of Messiah 78's (was it really 8 discs?) regularly and happily when I was growing up.
My favorite Messiah is the Trevor Pinnock recording:
Hmmm... Lucky you, Christmas music lovers!
You can grab Christmas CDs in any supermarket for $2.99;
HMV and Tower Records in NY sell them sealed for $.99 each in the clearance crates or even by pounds like potatoes!
I've got Boney-M this way just to bring some religious flavour in my collection.
Hey Tireguy, I also love Christmas music during this season. My favorites in order of preference (maybe) are:
Louis Armstrong And Friends, "What A Wonderful Christmas"
Ella Fitzgerald, "Wishes You A Swinging Christmas"
The Manhattan Transfer, "The Christmas Album"
Nat King Cole, "The Christmas Song"
Peggy Lee, "Christmas Carousel"
Frank Sinatra, "The Sinatra Christmas Album"
Biggest disappointment was last year's purchase of Take 6's "He Is Christmas". Gimmicky and way too affected in that "soul diva sings the national anthem" kind of way. Could have been great. By the way it's always amazing to hear how beautifully natural voices can sound on old mono recordings such as on the Armstrong disc. The a cappella chorus on "Silent Night" sounds unbelievable. One can hear very distinctly each individual singer's tone quality as opposed to on even a great (musically) modern recording like Manhattan Transfer's where voices get congealed and indistinct in the electronic ambience.
Eric, the best version I have is the Harmonia Mundi "Messiah Highlights." [HMT 7907120]
You might want to check out this link to CDNow to see if you would like the complete "Messiah" offering from the Hyperion label. (I just ordered it myself.)
All of the above are truly fine choices specially the "Cantante Domino" chosen by Danvetc this is a TRUE masterpiece. I would like to also add to this line up
"Start of Wonder" on Reference Recordings RR-21 done by Professor Keith Johnson master himself :-)
Also "Messiah" on NEW RCA High Performance
Anyone for the "A Very Special Christmas" series? The first two (to me) are the best. Reminds me of my youth.
Now for something completely different! Two unusual offerings:"A Christmas Cocktail" from Jaymz Bee and the Royal Jelly Orchestra. Swingin lounge jazz to just plain weird. I guarentee you have never heard Christmas songs done like this before, delightfully over the top. The second is "An American Christmas". A traditional acoustic intrumental collection with Vasser Clements, Norman and Nancy Blake, Roy Huskey Jr.and friends. Fiddle, mandolin, cello, guitar ect. Wonderful warm and beautiful. These two are as different as night and day but both are great fun. Merry Christmas!
For all you Etta James fans, and you don't really even have to be one,there is "12 Songs of Christmas", with Cedar Walton on piano. Etta does a great job with 12 of the Christmas standards, even adding something to "Jingle Bells", which, let's face it, is hard to do. The musicianship of all players on this CD is superb and the sound is very, very good. I heard this at Border's a year ago and it was startling how good this was, but I didn't buy it that day. Next day they had sold out and it has taken me a year to find this CD again.
Mannhiem Steamroller "Fresh Aire Christmas" is a lot of fun,
also Holly Cole has a christmas disc available.
heres a couple-
.yule be boppin-on blue note/var artists-a highlight is bob dorough's new updated version of 'blue xmas'.
.jingle bell jazz-columbia/var artists-highlight-bob dorough's original 'blue xmas'.
.wynton marsalis-crescent city christmas card-he recites the night before christmas.
.yule struttin'-blue note again-highlight is benny green-silent night, could cause tears.
For something a little different try the album simply titled Christmas by the band Low.
It features a combination of original Christmas related songs and a few classics (Silent Night,Blue Christmas,Little Drummer Boy etc.).
Low are from Duluth and the music could be described as like a more left-field Cowboy Junkies,it's low-fi but melodic.
Worth a gamble.
It's on Tugboat records.