Music for Christmas
In order to provide some at-home Christmas carols for all of you, I have uploaded two new hymn-sing videos. The first, Hymns to Sing 14: Carols for Christmas, Part 1, has our section-leader quartet singing O Come, All Ye Faithful, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, Silent Night, and Joy to the World. The second, Hymns to Sing 15: Carols for Christmas, Part 2, features soprano Claudia Carroll singing In the Bleak Midwinter, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Glory, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Angels We Have Heard on High. As with previous hymn-sing videos, I provide background and explanation for each carol, and the words are displayed so you may sing at home, if you wish. I hope that these help to provide some Christmas cheer to all of you.
Another resource you may wish to know about is the free availability of the Ensemble VIII performance of Messiah. You may access it at the following links: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3. This is a recording of the presentation done in 2018, using original baroque instruments, and a vocal ensemble the size that Handel used. At the performance, one of the audience said to me afterward, "I have been listening to Messiah for years, and I feel like I just heard it for the first time." I hope that you will find this a refreshing take on this much-loved oratorio. Full disclosure: I am president of the board of Ensemble VIII. Even though that may make me prejudiced, I hope you will find this a good way to hear this work afresh.
Finally, the grammy-winning group Conspirare has released a free Christmas Concert, which you are invited to enjoy between now and January 6. Note that, when you access the link, you may either make a donation and listen to the concert, or listen without charge.
All artists, musicians and ensembles are doing their best to help us through this pandemic Christmas. It is my sincere hope that these offerings will bring you joy.
Gregory Eaton, organist/choirmaster