An Advent Calendar of Christmas Music. 5th December.

Continuing with our John Rutter week, here is his gorgeous arrangement of Silent Night.

Silent Night

And in light of previous comments, though not specifically a Christmas piece, I am adding The Gaelic Blessing.

Gaelic Blessing

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An Advent Calendar of Christmas Music. 4th December.

I think this is going to turn into John Rutter week as we listen to the enchanting Angels’ Carol in a version with orchestra.

Angels’ Carol with orchestra

The beauty of John Rutter’s music (apart from inspirational melodies, feel good harmonies, beautiful words…the list is endless), is that it is infinitely adaptable and sounds wonderful sung by any type of choir, with any of the different versions of accompaniments available. Here is the same carol sung by a very young choir with harp accompaniment.

Angels’ Carol with harp

Ahhh…what IS it about children’s voices, harp and Christmas? It is enough to melt the most Scrooge-like heart.

An Advent Calendar of Christmas Music. 3rd December.

Children love to change the words of Christmas carols and songs and John Rutter’s wonderful Shepherd’s Pipe Carol is known the length and breadth of the country as the Shepherd’s Pie Carol.

Listen to this beautifully meaty and succulent performance (tasteful too):

Shepherd’s Pipe Carol

Please let me know of changes to the words of Christmas songs that you have heard.

PS I know the one about the shepherds and their socks.

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An Advent Calendar of Christmas Music. 2nd December.

Veni, Veni Emmanuel is the traditional choice for the first Sunday of Advent and I couldn’t resist putting links to two performances today.

This is music that has stood the test of time, having fifteen century origins (or even eighth century according to some sources). It is best sung in latin – I still remember having to fix a very beady eye on some gigglers at the back of my choir when conducting a rehearsal using the version with words in English…

Choir

Solo

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An Advent Calendar of Christmas Music. 1st December 2012

December has arrived at last, and the countdown to Christmas has begun! Rehearsals for Christmas services, concerts and shows have already started and musicians are even more busy than usual.

Our first window opens to reveal Handel’s Messiah – perhaps the most well known and finest oratorio of all time.

Click here to listen to a fine performance of “Glory to God”