Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Playlist: 24 December 2005

Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus/Michel Beroff, piano (EMI 69161)
Frank Martin: Maria-Tryptichon/Bamert (Chandos 9411)
Child of Light: Music for Christmas/Elysian Singers of London (Continuum 1043)
20th Century Christmas Collection/The Sixteen (Collins 12702)
Handel: Messiah/Beecham (RCA 61266)

This last item deserves a comment. Beecham uses the Sir Eugene Goosens arrangement of 'Messiah,' about the most non-historically-correct version you could imagine—using a Mahler-sized orchestra, a huge chorus and Wagnerian soloists. The "Hallelujah Chorus" is a wonderful case in point, with an enormous brass choir buttressing the men's parts, and some poignant snare-drum and crash cymbals adding that extra bit that really says "Christmas." I bet Handel would have loved it.

No comments: