Christmas music of all time

Instead, imagine a typical Christmas Eve magical moment for many of us.

Of course, some special glasses are usually helpful so as to make the perfect selection of music. To this end, we asked 10 of her writers to talk about albums that are guaranteed to always get you in the Christmas spirit, year after year, and time after time. Time to sit back and relax…

best christmas music

Lutheran Mass of Pretorius

As conductor Paul MacLeish reaches for his reconstruction of Praetorius’ Lutheran Mass on Christmas morning, memories thunder: “It may have been celebrated around 1620.”

Just having the album is enough to conjure up images of winter visits to Roskilde Cathedral recorded in the early 1990s. Then a solo voice emerges from the silence singing Martin Luther’s processional hymn. Christ Already Praiseworthy That’s all it takes to rekindle your childhood feelings for the wonders of Christmas.

The grand scale of the recording, with its music for voices and instruments in Praetorius’ symphonies, the preludes played on the organ first built in the early 1550s, and the overwhelming conviction of its congregational singing, are in harmony with the liturgical setting of the Church, creating a unique sublime union of public celebrations and celebrations. personal reflection.

Andrew Stewart

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker

Giant Christmas trees, gingerbread soldiers, dancing snowflakes, reindeer-drawn sleighs, fairy-tale princes, sugar plum fairy: What more do you want?

Even if all the endless preparations set off a Scrooge-like mood by December 24th, Tchaikovsky’s nutcracker Made to banish cold cynicism and rekindle the spark of celebration. I come back to this ballet every year like an avid child.

I love Christmas music that creates a space of tranquility, and modern carols with a fresh twist, but I also love their joy, magic and ingenuity. TchaikovskyMs. Score is an ideal pickup. This year, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra And a gorgeous recording by Simon Rattle.

named nutcracker one best christmas ballet

Rebecca Franks

Howard Blake snowman

Although not invincible to Tchaikovsky’s charm, nutcracker Or the quirks of Ian Bell’s 2014 opera version Christmas carolfor me the festival is snowmanHoward Blake’s score to animation in 1982.

From the first broken chord and arch theme to the exquisite scene painting – the bassoon motif when the boy steps into deep snow. A galloping motorbike tune, and the glorious “Walking in the Air” vocals by Peter Orty (not Aled Jones, as it’s often thought, but a seasonal piece of Christmas quiz). It’s an annual fun that doesn’t betray.

Soberly left out in some staging, I wholeheartedly recommend the now-widespread concert accompaniment to the film instead.

Claire Jackson

A Christmas Carol by Leonard Bernstein

My father adored Leonard Bernstein, so when Lenny conducted the entire A Christmas Carol LP in 1963, the album was immediately bought and played. very strong 8:00 a.m. on Christmas Day in the Morrison family.

My dad said it would make us feel better. They soon divorced. Despite this, I still love her Christmas cheer.

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On the one hand, Bernstein, the ultimate hedonist and Jewish to boot. On the other are the ascetic and deeply devout Latter-day Saints of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. And in the middle, the bells, brass and gongs of the New York Philharmonic come to the fore and ring the belts. O all ye faithful come Only understated, as if it were the end of Mahler’s No. 8.

Richard Morrison

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio

Married to a former German choirman, my Christmas music is less savior than Glory of Bach Christmas Oratorio (Christmas Oratorio) Recorded in 1965 with the Munich Bach Choir and Orchestra conducted by Karl Richter.

The soloists are outstanding, especially mezzo Christa Ludwig and tenor Fritz Wunderlich as evangelists, who bring a compelling storytelling to each word. From the frenzied opening trumpets and drums, a familiar story unfolds through recitatives, arias and choral singing, three kingsRichter’s ‘heavy weight’ approach is far from trendy, and despite nearly three hours of recording time, it’s heavy enough. I distribute his six parts of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Each portion is long enough for a hearty meal of homemade Christmas his cake and a glass of mulled wine.

Natasha Logs

ratters star carol

There’s no more communal Christmas joy than John Rutter’s Christmas star carolIt’s a month-long soundtrack of John Rattermouth’s season of Advent, tree decorating, and present opening for our family, a consecration of the sounds of the season.

Rutter’s own words are gilded with music of compelling immediacy: the sharing of rousing lines between the male and female voices of the verse, the soaring octaves of the chorus, the rhythmic halftones or ditones. A give and take, and a radiant dazzle of orchestration.

It’s all brilliantly revealed by the Cambridge Singers and the City of London Sinfonia on the John Rutter Christmas Album. There is nothing more generous than a Christmas gift. Thank you John!

tom service

Helly Hutchinson Carol Symphony

The only work guaranteed to evoke the Christmas spirit for me is Helly Hutchinson’s 1927 Carol Symphony, recorded by the Pro Arte Orchestra under Barry Rose.

Growing up, we listened to this disc every year, and the sometimes hilarious, sometimes melancholic interweaving pieces of A Christmas Carol still have a strangely powerful effect on me to this day.

Best of all is the third movement section from the iconic 1984 John Masefield television adaptation. box of joy (Wolves! Magic! Snow! Talking Mouse!).This sparkling orchestral arrangement first norwell Like a perfect Christmas Eve, it evokes a wonderful sense of enchantment and possibility.

Kate Wakeling

JS Bach’s Magnificat

I’m not traditionally religious, but the prevalence of greasy, secular songs during the Christmas season tends to dampen my festive spirit. So you need a powerful and refreshing counterblast. The name that came to mind was JS Bach, and within seconds I knew what it was: Magnificat.

Of course, it all started with the appearance of an angel to Mary. Theology aside, however, this compact masterpiece is rich in Bacchian mood and color, culminating in a glorious expression of trumpet-enhanced joy, which I would take over for Handel any day. Probably my favorite moment is the aria “Esurientes” which has a delicious final depiction of the rich being “sent empty”. Remember when Christmas wasn’t primarily about buying things?

Stephen Johnson

Vaughan Williams’ today

I tend to leave everything to the last minute, so Christmas Eve can often be an exhilarating whirlwind of shopping, wrapping, and decorating.

For me, Christmas is a magical time of the year and I seek simplicity in everything I do. So when you sit back in your favorite armchair, mulled wine in one hand, mince pies in the other, nothing beats the sound of a voice of pure tone wrapped in a melodic, harmonious brilliance. create the perfect atmosphere without

And for that, I always turn to Vaughan Williams’ 1954 cantata Hodie. This is a largely neglected gem of 16 sections, including the sublime chorus “Blessed Son of God” and the enchanting “Lullaby” for unaccompanied chorus.

Julian Haylock

Taveners God Is With Us: A Christmas Proclamation

God Is With Us: A Christmas Proclamation is one of Tavenor‘s most effective choral work – a trance-inducing chant that builds from a single line of rumbling bass into four-part harmonies topped with sparkling high notes.

But Tavener couldn’t hide his surprise in the final 40 seconds. On John Tavenner’s album St George’s Chapel Choir at Windsor Castle, the stillness is shattered by deafening sounds. Hehehe Chords from ‘Christ is Born’ for the mighty Harrison & Harrison Organ.

As parents of the St. George’s Choir who sing this every year, we knew exactly what was to come, but not until one or two slumbering congregants were awakened shocked by the blast. loved to see It always puts me in the Christmas mood!

Amanda Holloway

Main Image: Getty Images

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