Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Songs of the Season

Sometimes I just love sitting quietly on the couch listening to soft Christmas music, preferably something by Loreena McKennitt, and looking at the Christmas tree. It is such a peaceful thing to do.

Last Christmas, Loreena McKennitt put out a Christmas album called A Midwinter Night's Dream, which I just love. It incorporates music from two earlier Christmas albums (welllll, an album and an EP) along with a bunch of new material. I particularly like her version of "Emmanuel", which reminds me of the way we used to sing the at Mass during Advent when I was in college. (We would sit in the darkened church, and the choir would start up very quietly and solemnly. As the music became louder, the lights in the church would brighten. The effect was incredibly moving. There might have also been candles involved, but my memory is a little hazy on that.)

A Christmas song that I have rediscovered this year is "Riu, Riu, Chiu", which is a Spanish carol from the Renaissance. Weirdly enough, I first heard it at the end of an episode of "The Monkees", back when I was religiously watching the show in reruns on MTV in the 1980s. I was reminded of the song recently (not because of the Monkees), and now I can't stop listening to it. I particularly like the version by The Boston Camerata, which can be found on their Renaissance Christmas album. I bought it on iTunes, but I am sure can be found other places on line too.

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