Category: Listen

The other, other Christmasy Oratorio

This year around Christmas I have the strange opportunity to sing all three of the major Christmas oratorios: Messiah, Weihnachts Oratorium and L’enfance du Christ and all in different cities at that. We are, of course, all familiar with Messiah…

well just praise the Lord for that….

This video was first brought to my attention by, of all people, my voice teacher in Toronto. It may be familiar to some of you but for those of you who are ‘first timers’ sit back and enjoy Henrietta and…

The Santa Narratives

Earlier this week we had 3 Kings, and now we have songs about dear Saint Nick. 1. Zat you Santa Claus — This mischievious little number conjures up an image crossed between the Grinch and something from the mind of…

Pearl, I couldn’t agree more.

Here we have a little selection submitted by Miss Mussel to me Frere Mussel. It is simply really really funny. For me, it totally surpasses Santa Baby, by our favourite blonde bombshell. Pearl Mae Bailey (March 29, 1918 – August…

3 Songs for 3 Kings

Today we visit the Three Kings, well before Epiphany. Instead of the usual ‘We three Kings’ that as children went more like this: Three Kings of Orient Are, Trying to smoke a rubber cigar! It was loaded and it exploded,…

So, how’s YOUR Polish Part II

That’s right ladies and gentlemen “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” is originally a Polish carol, also originally WITHOUT Kenny G, or whoever that was. I think baby Jesus would sleep better without the soprano sax, and so would I. The original…

So, how’s YOUR Polish?

Mine is really quite bad. I have been to Warsaw twice in the last six months and have learned how to say “Airport” and “Okay”, but not in that order. It is a very beautiful language so it might be…

Like it or lump it

I would now like to draw your attention to O Holy Night. I don’t feel I need to go through all the hullabaloo of explaining to everyone the origins etc… If you do not know this carol you clearly live…

Dirty Minds

Next we travel back in time. To a time when I was 12 and able to sing a high C, those days have since marched on. Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day is an English carol usually attributed as ‘traditional’;…

Ring-a-ling-a-ling etc…

Today we go to that perennial favorite “Sleigh Ride”. During his alto saxophone years Frere Mussel can remember the horror of playing this brisk number in five sharps. It never got easier. EVER. The composer, Leroy Anderson, had the original…

The Good the Bad the Ugly

Here we have, what is probably, the worst offending Carol for cheese-grater-to-face syndrome. The Little Drummer Boy. The song, originally titled “Carol of the Drum”, was written in 1941 by pianist Katherine K. Davis based on a traditional Czech carol….

Ah, the French

What can one really say about this 17th-Century French Carol? It is simply beautiful. Here are two versions, with two very different budgets. Left: Random Swedish Choir | Right: You Know Who For this carol I think it is clear…

Advent 2010: A Hostile Takeover

ATTENTION OM READERS! This is not the voice of Miss Mussel rather, it is the voice of Frere Mussel. In lieu of forfeiting the Advent calender to Father Time, I have staged a hostile take over from across the pond….

Dear Australia

Thanks to a dodgy web feed of Channel 9 via Pakistan and then Sweden, Miss Mussel was privy to your spectacular bowling collapse over the weekend. It was sad to watch. Please take the week to get yourselves together and…

1st Sunday Of Advent

For the last two years Miss Mussel has posted an Aural Advent Calendar. Instead of a chocolate each day, you get a new video of a Christmas song/carol. It’s certainly better for your waistline and, considering the percentage wax in…

Nunc dimittis

Puffed sleeves! Anne would be so excited. Backstory: Mary & Joseph bring their baby to the synagogue to be consecrated. Simeon, the high priest, had been promised he would see the Messiah before he died. He was very old and…

Trude Herr: Cabaret Genius

The OM’s foreign correspondent sends these slices of brilliance from Cologne. Trude Herr (auf Deutsch) was a hometown girl, who had a great career as a character actress in German film and as a singer on the Berlin cabaret circuit….

Widor Toccata From Symphony No.5

It occured to Miss Mussel the other day that the organ is the only instrument that requires specialist footwear. It is also the only instrument where the operator is usually invisible, giving the whole affair a rather intriguing mad professor/Wizard…

Schubert Mass In G Major D167

Last week our church music tour started off in England with Thomas Tallis and If Ye Love Me. This week, we head to Norway to hear some Schubert. The man knew how to write a tune. Even the Credo, traditionally…