Showing posts with label favorite Christmas music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label favorite Christmas music. Show all posts

Friday, December 07, 2012

My Own Favorite Christmas Music

In my last two posts, I shared Christmas music favorites from a bunch of my Facebook friends.  Today, I talk about my own faves...

Amy Grant's "Home for Christmas"

I fell in love with this album the first time I heard it several years ago, and it has certainly stood the test of time.  The very traditional arrangements of classic favorites...the gorgeous orchestration, with Amy's pleasant voice...the few "newer" songs that have since become classics as well ("Breath of Heaven," "Grown-up Christmas List)'s all combined to make this one of my favorite Christmas albums of all time.

4Him "The Season of Love"

It just wouldn't be Christmas for me without this wonderful CD.  It first came out so long ago that the cover picture shows the four guys in full early 90's glory, mullets and all.  But the sound never gets stale.  The gorgeous 4-part harmony, as well as the guys' distinctive solo voices, shine on unique arrangements of traditional favorites as well as others that have also become classics, like "Strange Way to Save the World."

Michael W. Smith's "Christmas" and "Christmastime"

Again, it would not be the Christmas season for me without these two albums.

I wrote about them several years ago:

The arrangements and orchestration (in "Christmastime" are absolutely gorgeous... This is one of my very favorite Christmas albums. It is the perfect, joyous blend of the lighthearted and the reverent. Now I can't imagine the Christmas season without it. 

His first Christmas album, "Christmas," also remains a Christmas season staple for me, but it has a much different tone. The first album is more quiet and worshipful overall. 

Point of Grace "A Christmas Story"

Another really beautiful album that as more than stood the test of time.   Lush, shimmery, angelic female four-part harmony, with a nice balance of the sacred and the secular.

Bryan Duncan "Christmas is Jesus"

There's something unique about Bryan Duncan's voice...I've always loved it.  And his Christmas album is a wonderful blend of traditional and inspirational.  His "Angels We Have Heard on High" is a joyful celebration, while "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is thoughtful and hopeful.
The song, "Form of Man," really encapsulates what Christmas really means...God coming down to earth and taking on human form:

Jesus, lowly born, brought riches to the earth
Lord of Heaven coming down, risking human birth
God’s thoughts and ways are not our own and I can’t understand
Why He wrapped His love in flesh and blood and He took the form of man.

Oh, and I wrote in an earlier post...I  just have to listen to Handel's Messiah.

A few years ago, I wrote about going to Trinity Lutheran Church in Rockford and hearing the Messiah performed live...

...Finally, the lights were lowered, and the small orchestra began the overture. I was instantly captivated.
The first song sung by the choir is "And the glory of the Lord." As soon as it began, and the beautiful voices wafted over us in stately and gorgeous harmony, I started crying and didn't stop for the entire length of the song.

It was not only the beauty of the music that caused my awestruck was the power, the majesty, the dignity, the authority. "And all flesh shall see it together...for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." 

I love "The Hallelujah Chorus," and it also has a powerful effect on me. But probably my favorite song from Messiah is "For unto us a child is born," and has been since I was in junior high. I don't know what it is that captivates me so much about this piece. I love the intricate harmonies, the amazing run-on vocal phrases that spiral skyward, the joyful elation of the violins. [Do listen to the video below if you have a few moments and have any appreciation at all for classical music.]

I honestly don't think I've ever heard any music with the power to transport me to the heavenlies like Handel's Messiah. If the music in heaven is even slightly more amazing and awe-inspiring--and I believe it will actually be much more so--then we certainly have a lot to look forward to!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Favorite Christmas Music, Part Deux!

The other day, I asked my Facebook friends to tell me about their favorite Christmas music so I could share the replies on my blog. The response was so terrific, I've had to divide the results into two posts.

Do read through these responses and see if there's any music you'd like to check out. I know I will!

Becky Boys Pulham Carpenters Christmas portrait. Takes me back....WAY back.

John Wolf Jim Brickman and Amy Grant Christmas cd's are favorites around our house

Ashley Leporati Todd I have many..., but mostly I'm enjoying Acoustic December by a local guy (Chris Howell, on iTunes) who graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary several years ago. I'm really into acoustic/instrumental this year. I find it very soothing.I also like Josh Groban's "Noel". He is so gifted!

Ju Lee I like the Kenny G classics Christmas CD. Its just so relaxing and beautiful. I also really like the Casting Crown Christmas CD

Gina Mandala Tenazas Charlie Brown Christmas It brings back so many happy memories.

Jennifer Meier Go Fish Christmas with a capital C. I just really love it.

Paul Olmstead Kenny G: Miracles - The Holiday Album. Just love the selections he placed on this album. Soothing, easy listening.

Amy Sue Burnett Favorite secular album is The Carpenters Christmas Album... especially "Merry Christmas Darling"

Darren Marlar One of my personal favorites is an old one from Christian music... Russ Taff, "A Christmas Song" (which is a strange title for an album, as it sounds like you only get one song on the CD). It's almost twenty years old (yikes!), but I love the jazz combo feel to it, like you're listening to a guy in a nightclub crooning to some Christmas classics.

Source: via Cindy on Pinterest

Rebekah Bartholomee Gooch I love listening to Mannheim Steamroller and more recently, Nathan Burgraff who has a beautiful piano solos

Suellen Salmon Anderson Anything by Jim Brickman...but my favorite Christmas album is Jim's "The Gift". Nothing lovelier than piano music by this man.

Chyleen Robison Phillips I just downloaded the Christmas music from the Peanuts Christmas TV show. Love it! Most of it is instrumental/piano.
Kerry McKnight One of my favorites is Dean Martin. And Sing We Now Of Christmas by The Christmas Revels.

Bob Rub III YoYo Ma's "Songs of Joy and Peace." As a musician, I am amazed at Yo Yo Ma's diversity of styles. I especially love "The Wexford Carol" with Allison Krauss singing.

Tina Hopson Josh Groban, Celtic Woman, Kenny G, I have several piano only sacred Christmas CDs (love love love) Bing Crosby, Mannheim Steamroller. I love Christmas music. My iPod has 240 Christmas songs!

Vicki Walton A very special favorite is Glen Campbell's from the latter 60's. My Momma played it always; today I play the CD and remember my Dad in his chair as he whistled to "There's No Place Like Home." I drive by the home place each year and play that song.

Scot Bertram Marah - "A Christmas Kind of Town" - We listen to it every year on the drive to/from Chicago for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Kimberly Jean Richards Mlejnek later recommended Francesca Batistelli's Christmas CD, especially the song, "Christmas Is."

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in my informal survey!
If you missed it, feel free to leave your recommendations in my comments section!
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