Category: Advent Calendar

Peter Cook: A Life In Pieces

Now that Niklaus, Santa and the Christkind have gone, we’re stuck in that pleasant limbo before the Three Kings turn up and plunge us all back into usefulness. Languid days, pleasant though they are, benefit from a least a slight…

Praetorius Mass for Christmas Morning

Promised for several Christmases and never quite delivered thanks to a variously infuriating string of technical malfunctions. This year, I’m going to Leipzig to hear the piece performed live. With real people. And hopefully real serpents. But. For the restivus,…

Day 25: Carols From King’s DVD Preview

Not only do we have a free download of Once In Royal David’s City, there is also a peak at part of the 2014 Christmas from King’s 9 Lessons & Carols service DVD. Good tidings of great joy, which shall…

Day 24: Free Download from King’s

Once in Royal David’s City is traditionally the first sung at the King’s College 9 Lessons & Carols service. It builds from a single treble to full choir, organ and descant. In a home listening situation, it is at its…

Day 20: Hysterical Christmas

Merna, Alex Ross’ favourite organist on crack and that train wreck of an O Holy Night. Because Christmas isn’t Christmas without schadenfreude. Merna & Henrietta – Go Tell It On The Mountain | Messiah Organist On Crack Steve Mauldin –…

Day 19: O Holy Night

I’ve heard a lot of O Holy Nights over 5 years of putting together musical Advent calendars. (There are 57 here, should you be interested in a broader survey.) I’ve even spoken to the man behind the epically terrible version…

Day 18: O, du Fröliche

On the left, Diana Damrau. On the right, Anatol from Bochum who will come to your house or senior’s home and play his accordion. Today marks two years since Miss Mussel arrived in the Deutschland. Where has the time gone?…

Day 17: The Chanukkah Song

It’s not just Mariah who’s having a 20th anniversary this year. Adam Sandler’s legendary Chanukah Song first appeared on his 1996 album, but was written in 1994. Or at least, so says Wikipedia. And if it’s on the internet, it’s…

Day 16: Silent Night

For chorus masters everywhere, who have probably had enough conversations like this to make them reconsider the value of continued existence. Miss Mussel and the

Day 15: Christmas Time Is Here

In which Diana Krall makes olden times and ancients rhymes seem the most tragic possible thing. Everything is a reminder of what isn’t. Still, as an introspective/borderline depressive alternative to the blinking lights and HO! HO! HO! aggression, there’s nothing…

Day 14: Santa Baby

Eartha Kitt shakes down Santa for all the goodies in his sack. *Ahem*. Ms Kitt’s list: furs, sable light blue ’54 convertible, brand unknown, yacht (not a lot) the deed to a platinum mine a duplex blank cheques (quantity not…

Day 13: In dulci jubilo

In dulci jubilo by Michael Praetorius from A Year at Exeter Cathedral Should the smoothness of the refined sound of a cathedral not really be your thing, look no further that this little bit of fantastic from Mike Oldfield c….

Day 12: Holiday for Strings

This performance by the William Schuman Singers is perfect accompaniment those last few minutes of manic cleaning and kitchen prep before the guests arrive. Or anyone wanting to indulge in 1950s housewife domestic fantasies wherein you vacuum in a party…

Day 11: Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen

After yesterday’s 11/10 loudissimo Adeste Fideles explosion, it seems right and meet to bring it down to a more human scale. The oldest hymns, Christmas or otherwise, often have these delightfully higgledy, piggledy rhythms about them and complex harmony as…

Day 10: Adeste Fidelis

An epic start, some interesting noodling that gets a bit lost in the wilderness, a climactic tease, a bit more noodling and then an rollicking build up to a conclusion worthy of best speakers on house-shaking volume. It’s a DB9…

Day 9: Let It Snow/Nutcracker Mashup

Because sometimes Christmas is about silly mashups with friends and awkward high fives. Let It Snow/Nutcracker | Time for Three These guys (and their bass pal) have a Christmas EP. So there’s plenty more where this came from. Listen to…

Day 8: A Carillon Christmas

A dispatch from the Department of What the Actual H-E Double Hockeysticks Is Happening Right Now. Merry Christmas from 1958! The bassa nova was just invented! Pope Pius XII declared Saint Clare the patron saint of television! And apparently everyone…

Day 7: Huron Carol

Canada’s contribution to the carol canon: The Huron Carol | The Elora Festival Singers Listen to the whole OM Advent 2014 playlist here.

Day 6: All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You TOE TAPPER ALERT: The catchiest recit/aria combo since Puccini was ruling the stage is 20 years old this year. Opera is fun, you guys! I’ve listened to this approximately 87…