Christmas Day in the morning

Handel, Rutter

waiting.christmasIt’s Christmas Day. And it’s Saturday. Obviously, it’s time for some more Christmas music.

Let’s start with the probably obvious choice, the first part of the Messiah by Georg Frederick Handel. This is performed by the Dream Orchestra. It was conducted by Daniel Suk on December 3, 2015. I don’t think I’ve linked to this particular version, but I could be wrong. Sometimes, choirs will end this part with Hallelujah, which actually ends Part II, the Easter section; I’m catholic about doing that.

I’ve been in the chorus when this part has been performed in its entirety at least four times. And I’ve been in plenty of choirs that have sung And The Glory Of The Lord, And He Shall Purify, Glory To God In The Highest, and especially For Unto To Us A Child Is Born a bunch of times. I never tire of them.


The version of Gloria by John Rutter I picked was new to me. This was performed by the Angeles Chorale at the First United Methodist Church in Pasadena, CA, on December 15, 2012. This piece is harder than it seems, I can tell you from having performed it twice. My favorite Rutter piece is the Requiem, but it doesn’t fit this season.

I think I used this before. The Alma College Choirs sing The Dream Isaiah Saw. It’s by composer Glenn Rudolph. Recorded live at the 2011 Festival of Carols on the campus of Alma College in Alma, Michigan. I love singing this song.

Here’s Aubrey Logan singing O Holy Night. It was released only yesterday. Your basic last-minute shopping present.

Finally, the title tune, performed by David Arkenstone. This was NOT exactly what I was looking for. Nor were all the versions of I Saw Three Ships I came across. But it’s like other Christmas gifts; sometimes they are very nice, even when they are not what you were expecting.


Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

One thought on “Christmas Day in the morning”

  1. My Dad used to sing the Christmas and Easter portions of “Messiah” at the appropriate times of year in church throughout most of my time living at home with him. I still here him wandering around the house practicing whenever I play it. The last time I saw the whole thing performed in its entirety, when we lived in Chicago, I marveled (and to continue to marvel) at how EARLY it was, in the history of “classical” (in the loose, non-technical sense of that word) music, and yet how LISTENABLE it remains, more than a quarter-of-a-millennium later. What an extraordinary work it is, timeless in the best sense of that word. I made my usual Christmas playlist hereabouts yesterday, and included several favorite pieces of it (even if some of them are technically Easter themed) . . . “Every Valley Shall Be Exalted,” “And the Glory of the LORD,” “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion,” “For Unto Us A Child Is Born,” “Hallelujah.” But, then, I also included a lot more things of this stripe . . . . . .

    It is always fun to program such lists into the iPod and them scramble the results . . . jumping from Handel to Stevie Wonder to Palestrina to James Brown to Jethro Tull to The Mighty Clouds of Joy makes for a delightfully incongruous day of listening!

    Hoping the day was wonderful for you and yours, and that the New Year brings you all continued health and happiness!

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