Christmas and the thread of sound…

December 23, 2007 at 9:11 AM (Uncategorized) ()

Arrangements of Christmas music can run the gamut from kitschy, to sweet, to awe-inspring, to silly…

I have forgotten, or blissfully lost memories of two of three Christmas recordings that my immediate family grooved on at Christmas time….

But the *third*….

(It had some clunkers, and those I just skip over…but the ones that *work*)

The classical 1959’s “The Glorious Sounds of Christmas” The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy…

I remember it from my earliest memories…through the good Kid Christmases…and the turbulent and troubled ones of adolescence….to the ones full of as much despair as joy….and the *relief* I felt when I found a CD copy and brought it back into my home about three years back after a long drought….

The blaster “Joy to the World” and humorous backrounds given to “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” are what chimed the kid in me….and made and make me happy no matter my circumstances…I am drawn to smile, convinced to feel joy.

His arrangement of “Ave Maria,” was the first song that made me hush up and be still and listen…and think what a marvelous idea, to sing praises to a woman.

The take on “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” taught by just it’s arrangement that first, one should be still and quiet, so as not to waken the Christ Child….and that this event had awesome implications, larger than three people waiting out the cold in a stable…”The First Noel,” feels similar without being repetitive, first a mystical anticipatory listening of the shepherds in the night, and the “town crier,” broader message of the last lines…

And when you are full of despair during a holiday, feeling so much lousy stuff that you think you will never laugh again…

The instrumental arrangement of O Come, O Come Immanuel is such a cry of the heart, that it nearly empathizes with the listener…before I knew the words, I knew it was asking for something…

Whatever you celebrate, my wish for my readers at this time is that they have music in their collections that combine uplift, good memories, and the craft and of great instrumental and/or vocal skill…


With heart and soul and voice.


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