Well, Christmas is now less than three weeks away, and I’m prepared to bet I’m not the only person feeling musically persecuted in every public space I enter. It’s the same every year: Good King Wenceslas follows me into a shop; Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer follows me out of it — and all I can think of in between is how much I want it to be December 26th so that the whole parade of musical ghastliness will be over for another 49 weeks.
My hostility to ‘Christmas music’ is not an unthinking or automatic ‘blanket condemnation’, however: little as I like the ‘festive season’ and everything connected with it, the only reason I want these songs to be taken to a desert island and left there is that I have a strong aversion to bad arrangements of rubbish tunes with absurd lyrics (and if you want the clearest possible demonstration of what I mean, click this). As a result, it’s perfectly possible in principle for a piece of ‘Christmas music’ to appeal to me — and, as it happens, there are actually three seasonal pieces that I always enjoy hearing. And the purpose of this posting is to share the one I love most of all — yes, this is one that I absolutely adore.
Here it is. I’m not going to talk about it until you’ve had a chance to hear it — except to say that, if it doesn’t contain some of the loveliest and most sheerly beautiful music you’ve heard all week, I’ll eat my Santa hat…
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