Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas music even I want to hear!!!

Christmas Music.  Sigh.  My students, family, and colleagues know that I have a very low tolerance for it.  I am happy, content, to hear "White Christmas" once a year.  I would be very glad to never again hear "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer."  Pllleeease.

And then, today, Anne Sullivan (she and I are the flute/harp duo SPARX) gave me her new solo harp CD of....Christmas Music....and I must retract my position on music of the season.

The 12 tracks are all music that she herself has arranged: itself a Herculean task.  Then there is the stunning execution of the project.  The playing is flawless, clear, a breath of fresh air in an over-populated genre.  The recording engineer, Dave Lock of Audio Visions in Wilmington, DE, has done his usual brilliant job of understanding how the performer hears the music, and sets it up so that the listener hears it in the same way.  The clarity of the sound, unprocessed, makes every note stand out in an atmosphere of warmth and clarity.

 (Above: Anne Sullivan tunes her harp in preparation for her series at the Shade Mountain Winery.)

My personal favorites are Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen (Praetorius) and Divinum Mysterium (XIII century Plainsong.)  If you are like my husband and want to hear Christmas music you can recognize-no worries!   Greensleeves, I Wonder as I Wander, In Dulci Jubilo, and Two Italian Carols, are all recognizable and give you that happy feeling of comfort and joy.

Look for "Break Forth: Music for Christmas and the Season of Light" on CD Baby, and soon on the Flute Pro Shop web site.  And treat yourself to music of light and clarity.  It will clear your mind and soul.

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