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Anything by Johnny Mathis,and Nat Cole.The song, 'Silent Night', by the Temptations
Messiah(highlights)- John Alldis Choir, London Phil Orch / Karl Richter
Songs of Angels, Christmas Hymns & carols - Robert Shaw Chamber Singers
A Carnegie Hall Christmas Concert - Battle, von Stade, Marsalis, Previn
Good for this Christmas and Christmases to come.
Give me the Time-Life 4-CD Box of original Classic Christmas songs, I know, I know, not very hip, but it is a good mix with:
Judy Garland: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Ella Fitzgerald: Jingle Bells
Mel Torme: The Christmas Song
Dean Martin: Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
Placido Domingo: Ave Maria
Gene Autry: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Bing Crosby: White Christmas
Elvis: Blue Chistmas
Harry Belafonte: Mary's Boy Child
Well, you get the idea, and many by artists such as Perry Como, Andy Williams, The Robert Shaw Chorale, Eddie Fisher, Luciano Pavarotti, Julie Andrews, Boston Pops, and much, much, more...
I have to cast a vote for what is, IMHO, one of the best holiday tunes to come out in recent years - Paul Simon's "Waiting For Christmas Day". It's the failure of what's remaining of current FM radio that this hasn't become a modern "standard." When I first heard it a couple of years ago (I think) my mind raced back to "Cecilia". For those of you who have not heard it, give it a listen. No mawkish sentimentality, no hitting you over the head with yuletide sappiness, a really sweet song with a KILLER ending lyric...
If you’re a hard-core St. Matthew Passion type the greatest Christmas Record ever is "Christmas Music" by Orphei Danger on BIS .
Orphei Danger is the Great Swedish Male Choir , by far the best in Sweden which means the best in the world . 23 tracks of the usual suspects plus works by such as Sibelius and Nielsen .
BIS CD -533 This recording has the greatest dynamic range I have ever
heard ,even if you don’t like the music you can use it to see if your amp is clipping .
tostadosunidos, I have four "Period Instrument/Historically Informed" versions (Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, Leonhardt) of St. Matthew Passion on CD, Gardiner or Herreweghe being my first choice. Yes, I like the "no vibrato" movement! On LP I have Klemperer and Richter, which I haven't listened to in years. Herbert von Karajan's version has it's admirers.
For Pop, it's "A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector", an album of Spector's Phillies Records singers (Darlene Love, The Ronettes, The Crystals, Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans) doing classic Christmas songs plus a newly written (by the legendary team Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry) one, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)", sung magnificently by Darlene.