Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Music!

Today I'm going to tell you about some of my favorite Christmas music. It's one of the things I love most about this season! But yet again, I love music so anything involving awesome "new" (meaning I have not listened to them in 11 months so they feel new) music is great in my book!

First off, I'm going to start with my ultimate favorite Christmas song. The orchestral version of Sleigh Ride. This song is SO much fun and it's so much better than the worded version. I enjoy the ones with words but this is the best. There's so much depth to it and the parts are fun and intricate. It even has a horse whinny at the end. =) Have a listen, here. This version is by the Boston Pops Orchestra but I also have the London Symphony Orchestra's version and it's just as good. It just all depends on the interpretations of the conductor.

On another note, I've heard this song live, in July. =) Our local college, St. Mary's College of Maryland, hosts a summer concert series called the River Concert Series and the Chesapeake Orchestra plays with guest artists each week. At their very last concert in 2009 the conductor, Jeffrey Silberschlag, announced at the end that they had one more piece for us and since they wouldn't see us until next summer they wanted to wish us a Merry Christmas as well. And then they started to play Sleigh Ride. I just about keeled over from excitement!
The next thing I'm going to share with you is an album. My favorite Christmas music album is MercyMe's "The Christmas Sessions". This album is full of wonderful songs that just bring a smile to my face. It has some traditional hymns that are made contemporary, some fun traditional carols/songs and some heart warming originals. I definitely listen to this one often throughout Christmas time. My favorites from the album are Winter Wonderland, Silent Night, and Joseph's Lullaby. I highly recommend picking up this album if you haven't already.

This year David Crowder Band released their one and only Christmas album called "O For Joy" and it's lots of fun! I especially love that they do both "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and "Angels We Have Heard on High" but the styles are switched. I normally think of "Angels" as a hymn-like very formal sounding song and "Go Tell" as a more laid back almost country style song. But on this album "Angels" is very country-like and "Go Tell" is awesome! BUT the coolest thing is that they have "Carol of the Bells/Christmas Eve Sarajevo" like Transiberian Orchestra does it. And I just found this video on youtube of it. For their album they made themselves nutcrackers. This video is really kinda cool. =)

And one last thing I want to share is any and all of Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas albums. If you don't know, Mannheim Steamroller is produced by Chip Davis and the music is contemporized produced versions of classic Christmas songs. Even if you don't realize I'm sure you've heard their music in a store. The music is extremely popular and it wouldn't be Christmas to me without listening to it. It's one of those things that we listened to while growing up and it really interested me in produced (and instrumental) music at a young age. I remember one time having the album playing and I was sitting on the couch and there were sleigh bells that sounded in the left speaker and then slowly moved into the right speaker to sound as if a sleigh had ridden through my living room. It was incredible to my 11 year old self. Here's a song sampling the music.

So what's your favorite Christmas music? I have TONS more that I love and enjoy listening to, but these are just my favorites or else this would be an INCREDIBLY long post. Please share with me some stuff you think I should check out in the comments!


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