I haven't done Kate's Listography for a couple of weeks and this week it's being hosted by Alma at These Precious Things. Getting into the spirit of the season Alma is asking us to nominate our five favourite Christmas Songs.
Hmmm .... Well I don't do Christmas songs in the sense that is meant: those produced by the "popular music combo". :-)
But I do do Christmas music, so here are five nominations.
Carols. I like most carols, but the traditional ones are better. There are a few which I abhor: never bring me Away in a Manger, In the Bleak Midwinter, or anything made of modern concrete block music. But I'll take most of the traditional carols for a good sing, or authentic renditions by groups like The York Waits.
Heinrich Schutz, Weihnachtshistorie. The Christmas Story as told by the 17th century German composer, contemporary of Monteverdi, who also worked in Venice. Which is brilliant as I recall it includes tropes where the singers are asked to perform in similitudine pastorum (in the likeness of shepherds).
Bach, Christmas Oratorio. Well it's actually six short oratorios in total for the Christmas season, starting with Christmas Day. Great music, which you all probably know — although you probably don't know that you do!
Handel, Messiah. The traditional Christmas concert piece. I still love it after all these years, largely because I sang it when still at school (over 40 years ago!) — and I still carry chunks of the bass and tenor parts in my head!
Church Bells. Until a few years ago, BBC Radio 3 or Radio 4 always used to start Christmas Day with a short programme (usually only 10-15 minutes) of a variety English church bells. Yes, that quintessentially English tradition of change ringing. What a glorious way to start Christmas Day. Sadly that programme is no more. It should be revived.
Now how do The Pogues beat any of this? :-)