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Christmas and its meanings have inspired
music in many lands over the centuries. This
season, new classical recordings help to bring
New classical recordings celebrate the holidays
several strains to the fore.
BY SARAH BRYAN MILLER
POST-DISPATCH CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
12/13/2009 yesterday's most emailed
1. Holiday tipping is nothing new, but it may be in
decline
Germany
2. St. Louisan Ellie Kemper enjoys job as 'Office'
receptionist
Many of our most beloved traditions (Christmas trees, for starters) come from the 3. Clooney was here: St. Louis locations in 'Up in the Air'
German-speaking countries, and "Frohlocket ihr Voelker auf Erden: Deutsche 4. St. Louisans see familiar locations in 'Up in the Air'
romantische Weihnacht (Rejoice, Ye People on Earth: German Romantic Christmas)" 5. Chocolate chip cookies, perfected
offers an almost 80-minute tour of beautifully performed, nicely varied Germanic 6. Edwardsville man bags 25-point buck

lushness (Muenchener Bach-Chor; Hansjoerg Albrecht, conductor; Oehms Classics). 7. Cardinals make offer to Matt Holliday
8. Worker accused of cooking meth at Sonic
9. Homer G. Phillips Hospital was a symbol of pride for
The composers include Max Reger, Hugo Wolf, Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn
blacks here
and Max Bruch, among others. Choral works are sung by the Munich Bach Choir, and a 10. Walmart turns over a new leaf as it embraces local
big fanfare by Richard Strauss features members of the Bavarian Radio Orchestra. produce

Especially notable are Reger's setting of the familiar "In dulci jubilo" and a honey-toned
baritone, Michael Volle, taking the solo part in Peter Cornelius' "The Three Kings." The
disc concludes with a sweet rendition of "Silent Night" followed by an all-the-stops
more-is-better finish. oehmsclassics.de

LATIN AMERICA

Music from Latin America has received increased attention recently, and a fine sampler
of it is found in "Navidad: Christmas in the New World" (Seattle Pro Musica; Karen P.
Thomas, conductor; Seattle Pro Musica).

The first eight tracks are devoted to music of the 16th and 17th centuries, including
works that are pure Spanish Baroque and music written in native languages but a
Spanish style. The second half is music from 20th and 21st century Latin America. The
approaches contrast, but the spirit and the execution do not.

A couple of pieces, including the bright, brash finale, "Balia di Sehu," are not Christmas
music, but they fit with the general tone of the album. Most of this music catches the ear
and holds it, and syncopation rules. All of it has great appeal. seattlepromusica.org

BRITAIN

The British choral tradition has produced Christmas music in assorted styles. "In Terra
Pax: A Christmas Anthology" (City of London Choir, Bournemouth Symphony
Orchestra; Hilary Davan Wetton, conductor; Naxos) provides a good overview of 20th

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12/13/2009 - New classical recordings celebrate the holid... http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/entertainment/stories.nsf/...

century contributions, from Gustav Holst to Ralph Vaughan Williams.
PART TIME FACULTY
Saint Louis, MO
Benjamin Britten is not represented here, but a lot of other important composers are, St. Louis Community College

including Herbert Howells, Gerald Finzi and John Rutter in one of his best works, PHONE BOOK DELIVERY PERSON
Saint Louis, MO
"What Sweeter Music." It's all nicely done and, with the mixed voices of the City of
Company Confidential
London Choir, a worthy reminder that British choruses aren't all men-and-boys.
HOUSE SUPERVISOR
naxos.com Saint Louis, MO
Magdala Foundation

Also worth noting TECHNOLOGY
Saint Charles, MO
Confidential
St. Louis tenor Jon Garrett is a mainstay of Union Avenue Opera and the St. Louis
CAREGIVER
Chamber Chorus. In his new recording "To Find Love There: A Classic Celebration of Saint Louis, MO
Christmas" (Above Entertainment), he brings his sweet tone to a very different style in a Confidential
dozen carols sung with a "Christian contemporary" approach. CUSTODIAN
Saint Louis, MO
Prestige Maintenance USA
The program ranges from "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and "It Came Upon the
SHIPPING LEAD ASSISTANT
Midnight Clear" to several new songs co-written by Garrett, including the title number. Chesterfield, MO
He's been going to Nashville, Tenn., for several months to record the disc, which is Fab Lab
polished and deserving of success. above-entertainment.com CUSTOMER SERVICE/SALES
Saint Louis, MO
Vector Marketing
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