Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Days of Christmas: Day 1, A Christmas Festival

To celebrate Christmas I decided to highlight 25 days of awesome Christmas music. I seem to hear from alot of folks that Christmas music is overplayed and they are tired of it. But personally I can never get enough. This year I started listening a bit towards late October (while working on Christmas crafts of course), which is actually fairly late for me. 

Now if I listened just to radio stations for the entirety of the 2 or 3 months I might agree that the stuff gets old, but I happen to  have a ginormous collection of Christmas music. I think my itunes tells me that I am somewhere between 2 and 3 days worth of Christmas music if I were to listen to it all in one shot. I've also found Spotify to be a great way to discover even more new music. Check the bottom of this post for more information.

In these next 25 days I'm hoping that I'll be able to introduce you to some new seasonal listening options. Enjoy!

Day 1: A Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson.
 Click play to listen. I choose this video for the audio quality not the images, so don't feel obliged to sit and watch this all, it's a long piece. See the bottom of this post for another listening option.

This piece is a medley of 9 Christmas carols arranged by Leroy Anderson during his time with the Boston Pops and their conductor Arthur Fiedler. The recording I've posted I think may be Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops, but it's youtube so I make no guarantees.

I picked it because I thought it was a great rousing start to Christmas music (and I love Leroy Anderson). The joyful fanfare opens with gusto and leads us across so many different soundscapes and carols it's hard not to smile the whole time. 

Personally I know the piece from playing it (last night) as a band arrangement with my community band. So if you've ever played with a middle of the road to decent group you may very well already know the piece. Or it's also performed often by professional orchestras on holiday concerts. The arrangements are tons of fun. My personal favorite moment, likely tied to being a flute player, is probably minute 7. It makes me think of all the little moving parts that you would find in a holiday toy display :-)

Carlin's 25 Day's of Christmas Music

Day 1: A Christmas Festival
Leroy Anderson
Day 10: ??????? Day 19: ???????
Day 2: ??????? Day 11: ??????? Day 20: ???????
Day 3: ??????? Day 12: ??????? Day 21: ???????
Day 4: ??????? Day 13: ??????? Day 22: ???????
Day 5: ??????? Day 14: ??????? Day 23: ???????
Day 6: ??????? Day 15: ??????? Day 24: ???????
Day 7: ??????? Day 16: ??????? Day 25: ???????
Day 8: ??????? Day 17: ???????
Day 9: ??????? Day 18: ???????

Keep coming back each day as I celebrate the season with new songs each day!

Spotify is an awesome new free way to experience music. Visit their website to sign up and download the needed software. Once you are set up you can search for songs or artists and stream them on your computer. There are a number of more advanced features available and also some "premium" options that require payment. But I enjoy sticking with the zero dollar option that still allows me to listen to tons of my favorite music plus find and discover tons more music!

This is not an ad, just my opinion about a great little music freebie that would make listening to any of my Christmas music, or any of your own a breeze.

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