I was going to wait at least until after Thanksgiving to post this, but Dan Phillips asked é─˙What are the best Christmas albums, ever?é─¨ Which Messiah, and why? So these are my recommendations.
I havené─˘t listened to many different Messiah productions, but of those I have, I like this one best. Why? I just do. Ié─˘m not aficionado enough to go into all the nuances of nuanceé─ţé─˙Well, Dan, it has a robust bouquet and tantalizes the palate with hints of elderberry and currantsé─¨é─ţI just like it best.
Ié─˘m in need of some new Christmas music myself. These are probably not é─˙the best Christmas albums, everé─¨, but here are some of my favorites:
Christopher Parkening & Kathleen Battle, Angelsé─˘ Glory. I believe the sopranos in Heavené─˘s choir sound like Kathleen Battle, and Christopher Parkeningé─˘s guitar rivals any angelé─˘s harp. Maybe I exaggerate. Or maybe not.
Dallas Brass, Christmas Brass. Ié─˘m sure there are other Christmas brass albums equal to or better than this (like this one by the Westminster Brass, for example), but Ié─˘ve got this one, and I like it.
Joni Eareckson Tada, John MacArthur, Robert & Bobbie Wolgemuth, O Come, All Ye Faithful. This is one of four hymn albums done with The Masteré─˘s College Choral. Each comes with a hardcover book of historical sketches and meditations on the hymns it contains.
Joni Eareckson Tada & Bobbie Wolgemuth, Christmas Carols for a Kidé─˘s Heart. Similar to the previous album, this is one of four, also accompanied by a hardcover book. These are some of the best childrené─˘s productions Ié─˘ve heard.
Charlotte Church, Dream a Dream. I like this one in spite of the Ave Maria.
California Guitar Trio, Christmas Album. This one is fun for anyone who likes the guitar. It includes a couple of stupid songs, but since ité─˘s all instrumentalé─ţnobody singsé─ţtheyé─˘re still enjoyable.
Nat King Cole, The Christmas Song. Heé─˘s Nat King Cole. Need I say More? This man sang. Not like what commonly passes for singing in pop music today. No moaning, groaning, whining, growling, yelling, screaming, . . . Just clear singing with the beautiful voice God gave him. And enunciation! He obviously believed vowels and consonants had fixed phonetic values. So do I; because they do.
However, to prove Ié─˘m not completely rigid in my standards, I also like:
Stan Boreson & Doug Setterberg, Yust Go Nuts at Christmas. If you werené─˘t raised among early twentieth-century second and third-generation Scandinavian-Americans as I was, you probably cané─˘t appreciate this one. Youé─˘ll probably just think ité─˘s stupid. Well, actually, it is stupid. Hereé─˘s a sample.
Do you have any recommendations for me?