Advent Calendar Day 25: There Were Shepherds Abiding in the Fields (Handel)

Merry Christmas!  I thought it fitting to end Advent with another piece from Handel’s Messiah, and this recording is a fascinating one, dating from 1930.  Singing styles have changed quite a bit since then, and I think my personal preference is for a rather faster version of this recitative, but there is something rather special about listening to a voice that was recorded more than 80 years ago.

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Advent Calendar Day 21: Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day (Wilcocks, who should know better)

I had such good intentions for this Advent Calendar, truly I did.  I thought it would be nice to share with you some of the more beautiful Advent music out there, and I have.  But this is Friday, which means that even beautiful music must have an edge of silliness to it.

This is another medieval carol, and it’s actually very gorgeous both in lyrics and tune and I really love it.  And this arrangement is spectacular.

There’s just one little problem with it: it has an orgasmic alto line.

No, really.  I can’t listen to this one without giggling, no matter how good my intentions.  It’s fairly absurd even if one doesn’t have a dirty mind, but if one does, oh dear.  See (or rather, hear) for yourself.

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