Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Music for this beautiful season—what are your favorite recordings?

I am just about ready to hear lots of Advent and Christmas music. I’ll share with you here a small handful of my favorite CDs for the season—and I invite you to join me, in your comments, by recommending your own favorites. Let’s focus primarily, if possible, on CDs that are still easily available for purchase—ideally with purchase information, as well.

1. “Christmas with the Von Trapp Family”—a classic, of course! So varied, so beautiful!

2. Not at all well known, but my husband and I love it: Alfred Deller: “The Holly and the Ivy”; an unusual sound!

3. “Adestes Fideles: Christmas Music from the Westminster Cathedral”

4 “The Best of Nowell Sing We Clear, 1975-1986” and “Nowell, Nowell, Nowell” by John Roberts and Tony Barrand. These two Englishmen are specialists in the traditional British song; they have interesting voices and sing wonderfully together. Not every track on these two CDs is fully in the spirit of Christmas (as I understand it), but the best tracks are, I think, really grand! Available at: http://www.goldenhindmusic.com/
Let’s play these beautiful songs while we cook! Or maybe we can sit down each afternoon for a few quiet minutes with a cup of tea—and songs for the season?


  1. I prefer mostly older Christmas music, but I love the Christmas albums put out by Sufjan Stevens, especially: Star of Wonder (his own song), Get Behind Me Santa! (also his own song hahah), Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (not a Christmas song but oh well), Amazing Grace, and both his versions of Once In Royal David's City.
    As for more traditional stuff, the Cambridge Singers are great.

  2. I must admit the Holiday Crooners are a guilty pleasure of mine! Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole,

  3. Now that we are in Advent, the children hear nothing but Christmas carols as their bedtime songs...and I gladly comply while they still think that their mother has the most beautiful voice of all. That illusion won't last long. I suppose Twinkle Twinkle Little Star will make it's come back only once this jolly season has passed.

  4. And let's not forget Gregorian chant for Christmas! There are lots of wonderful chant CDs out there. For example, I love "Noel Orthodoxe" (Bulgarian chant); and "Christmas Chant" (by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos).