Christmas Music

Stephen Mager, the conductor of the Arcangeli Chamber Chorus and Orchestra, sent me their holiday CD of Christmas carols (settings by Mager). Each carol should be part of the soundtrack of a movie, they are all very lush and beautiful, and have this sense of the past that I can’t explain. Timelessness, I guess is the best way to put it. Most of them are new to me, and even the one or two I do know feel new again.

Silent Night is sung in German in this collection. (It is so much fun to sing in German!) Silent Night really is the most perfect carol. You can’t sing it and not be moved. It has this haunting, almost sad melody but with such a comforting message: everything is going to be alright now. Sleep in heavenly piece. It’s almost 200 years old now and I bet we’ll probably still be singing it for the next 200 years. The CD is called Joy for Every Age and you can buy it by emailing Stephen Mager, mwc.conductor@yahoo.com.

I should also mention that Christmas With the Choral Society, Vol II, is out. Except, I don’t see a way of buying it on our website. I guess you could get it through me. I should have posted this before the concert because you could have bought it at one of our concerts. It’s got everything: pieces by Palestrina, Gabrieli, Pinkham, Bernstein, Sametz, Whitacre, Rutter, Handel, and of course, carols.

Christmas decorations in my neighborhood. No way this display is lasting through the holidays!

Apples, Christmas Decorations, New York City

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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