Christmas CDs

December 16, 2007 at 08:42 PM · 'Tis The Season!

What Christmas, or other Festive Holiday music does everybody here like to listen to? Or, not...

Some of the Christmas CDs I enjoy are:

-"What If Mozart Wrote 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas'", by The Hampton String Quartet. They have some rather nifty arrangements.

-"Christmas Adagio", Karajan/BPO. This has a nice selection of Baroque Concerto Grossi, including the famous Corelli "Christmas Concerto".

-Vaughan Williams, "Hodie", and "Fantasia on Christmas Carols", Willcocks/LSO. The "Hodie" is really hard to play! I prefer to listen...

-"Best Loved Christmas Carols", Choir of King's College Cambridge. All the classics...

-"A Star In The East: Medieval Hungarian Christmas Music" by Anonymous 4. Their "On Yoolis Night" is also quite lovely.

On the Pop/Jazz side, I like:

-"A Charlie Brown Christmas", Vince Guaraldi.

-"Christmas With Rosemary Clooney". I understand her nephew has quite the movie career...

-"The Very Best of Bing Crosby Christmas".

-"Meet Me In St. Louis" soundtrack. Judy Garland sings "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"!

I also have "The Sinatra Christmas Album", and it is a little surreal for my tastes...

I don't have any "Nutcracker" or "Messiah" CDs. And I don't plan on adding them to my collection any time soon...

So what does everybody like to listen to? Any good violin Christmas CDs out there? Thanks!

Replies (24)

December 16, 2007 at 09:12 PM · When I celebrated Christmas (I do not these days nor birthdays) anything from Being Crosby (sp?).

December 16, 2007 at 09:33 PM · I like music without words--could be a variety of combinations. Though folk music was meant to tell storys, lyrics have become too reactionary for me.

Of course that does not apply so much to Christmas, but just in general.

December 17, 2007 at 01:13 AM · The Mannheim Steamroller Christmas albums are excellent.

December 17, 2007 at 04:03 AM · I enjoy a lot of the tracks on the two John Fahey (folk/blues guitar) Christmas albums.

The CD "A Very Special Christmas 2" has an excellent version of "Jingle Bell Rock" by Randy Travis and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" by Cindy Lauper and Frank Sinatra (I could not make that up).

A few tracks from the Beach Boys Christmas album hit the spot for me--I just like the sounds of their voices, especially without instrumental accompaniment.

The Chieftains also have an interesting Christmas CD with various guest artists.

I have the "Star of the East" CD mentioned above and I do like that.

I also like some of the compilations of 50's and 60's mainstream artists doing their Christmas hits (Mel Torme, Nat King Cole, etc.)

I don't care for the stuff I hear in stores while I'm shopping. I guess it's contemporary Muzak.

December 17, 2007 at 12:12 PM · I like George Winston's "December". Also, the "Star Wars Christmas Album" is a hoot (if you like that sort of thing--which my brother and I do). I don't have a full Messiah CD, but I have a CD by the Cambridge Singers that includes "Unto Us a Child Is Born" (as well as O Magnum Mysterium and Fantasia on Christmas Carols--which are also great) and I've been humming it in spite of myself.

December 17, 2007 at 02:30 PM · I bought a couple generic CD's at the grocery store; called by nondescript titles like, best of medieval Christmas, German classical Christmas, Christmas baroque, and found some good stuff to listen to. You spend $4-7 per. So keep the whole thing if you like it. if you only want a track or two, put it on your handheld, and then donate the CD to a shelter, old-folks home, local music program, etc. Sue

December 17, 2007 at 04:26 PM · I have nearly 4 hours of holiday tunes on my IPod and just let them play continuously in my kitchen. Favorites include any of the Windham Hill CDs, Relient K's "Deck the Halls" recording (serious rock), Dave Koz's "A Smooth Jazz Christmas" and a CD entitled Silver and Strings (flute and guitar). My favorite single is the Boston Pops' Twelve Days of Christmas with the Tanglewood Chorus.

December 17, 2007 at 05:03 PM · My two favorites this year are Josh Groban's new CD entitled "Noel" and the new Michael W. Smith CD entitled "It's a Wonderful Christmas". Old favorites include the Charlie Brown Christmas CD, my collection of Leroy Anderson Christmas tunes, Bing Crosby, and Michael Buble.

December 17, 2007 at 05:24 PM · Aw c'mon, fess up. Doesn't anyone else have Boney M's 20 Greatest Christmas Songs? Of course, Charlie Brown is a classic. I also like The Greatest Classic Christmas Album and An Oscar Peterson Christmas.

December 17, 2007 at 07:26 PM · I love the Chanticleer Christmas albums. Chanticleer is an all-male vocal ensemble based in San Francisco, and their sound is magnificent. Check them out!

December 17, 2007 at 08:07 PM · I listen to the Messiah, the Christmas Oratorio, Bach's other Christmas Cantatas, and Duke Ellington's version of the Nutcracker. Since I do not celebrate Christmas, these satisfy my desire to hear high quality music of the season.

December 17, 2007 at 11:54 PM · I'm with Kenneth. I've been a Mannheim Steamroller fan for years.

December 18, 2007 at 02:05 AM · I never knew there was a "Star Wars Christmas Album". So I went over to Amazon, and Lo, there it was! C3P0 singing "Sleigh Ride"...that will take a few days to recover from, I think. Hee Hee. And May The Force Be With You, Karen.

Also in the novelty department is the "Barnyard Christmas" CD, which unfortunately disturbs the cats, especially "Bark! The Herald Corgis Sing" number. "A Neigh in a Manger" is kind of cute, though.

I also like Delius' "Sleigh Ride", which I haven't played in years, and is quite charming. If you have a Naxos subscription, you can listen to it there, or buy it on their "Christmas Festival" CD.

Chanticleer's Christmas album is sure to be fabulous. Everything they do is superb. What a great idea, for next year, anyway. Thanks for the suggestion!

December 18, 2007 at 06:29 PM · I forgot to mention that I have an old Musical Heritage Society LP (I do not know if it exists as a CD) called "Christmas in the Cathedral of Reims" which I enjoy listening to. It is a mixture of vocal and instrumental.

December 18, 2007 at 07:17 PM · For those of you who like Chanticleer, the free holiday download of the week on Itunes (USA version...not sure about the others) is from them. Just thought I'd let you know. Its just one song but hey, saves you 99 cents.

December 18, 2007 at 10:25 PM · Hey, thanks for the tip, Thomas! I haven't really joined the digital age of music yet---not motivated enough---but this will entice me to take one step in that direction. :)

December 21, 2007 at 04:21 AM · Masterpiece: Charlie Brown Christmas. Just listen to it.

For Kids: Raffi Christmas. (A masterpiece.)

December 2, 2008 at 03:27 AM ·

Corelli Concerto grosso in g minor, the Christmas Concerto.  I love playing it too.

December 2, 2008 at 07:19 AM ·

Mannheim Steamroller, particularly the early CDs. 

December 2, 2008 at 05:55 PM ·

a couple of cd's come to mind.

Nadja Salerno Sonenberg and friends put out a Christmas CD with interesting arrangements.  It was available on Amazon for a really cheap price and it put me over the top for the $25 free shipping and handling when I ordered something. 

The other is the nutcracker suite arranged for piano by Pletnev.  I don't know if it is still available.  He recorded it many years ago, and it made it into the great pianists set that Phillips put out several years ago.

I believe that Mischa Elman performed some Tchaik transcriptions that included the nutcracker....can anyone confirm?


December 2, 2008 at 07:20 PM ·

Naxos has a nifty CD out called Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites, for piano 4 hands, played by the Aurora Duo.  I listened to the Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake suites, but I couldn't bring myself to listen to the Nutcracker suite.  Nice playing, interesting arrangements, and for those that don't fly into uncontrollable rages when inflicted with Nutcracker, this might be a unique and interesting choice.  

December 3, 2008 at 02:00 AM ·

we have this old cassette that was recorded from lp (complete with needle pops) of German Christmas carols that is very special and always dig that out every year...must get that on the computer


also the Bonnie Rideout Scottish Christmas cd (that I accused my wife from hiding from me one year)


and the Britten Ceremony of Carols is very special


and then there is this Handel cd that somehow has a Christmas theme...


hmmm..need to listen to some music now...

December 3, 2008 at 02:37 AM ·


December 3, 2008 at 03:41 AM ·

The Mozart one sounds so intriguing. I wanted to listen to it first but my library doesn't have it


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