The Rock 'N' Roll Era: Christmas Hits: Jingle Bell Rockcollects 12 classic tracks of the holiday genre including "Run, Rudolph, Run" (Chuck Berry), "Jingle Bell Rock" (Bobby Helms), "Sleigh Ride" (the Ventures) and " Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" (Brenda Lee). Many of these artists will appeal to a broad range of ages, making it perfect for family gatherings.
Here are two of Rossini's "secular" cantatas: "The Lament of Harmony on the Death of Orpheus" for tenor, male chorus, and orchestra, written when he was a 16-year-old conservatory student, and the far more substantial "Wedding of Thetis and Peleus," one of many such pieces he composed for special occasions, commissioned for the marriage of an Italian princess to a French prince. Both consist of primarily short, separate, contrasting numbers, most of which would be perfectly at home in the opera house.
Sarah Brightman's Classics collects old and new recordings of some of her classical vocal performances, including "Ave Maria," "Dans La Nuit," "Alhambra," and "Figlio Perduto." "Pie Jesu" is the lone nod to her collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Weber and "Time to Say Goodbye" is probably the most recognizable song on the album to the majority of Brightman's audience…
On A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, Brian O'Donovan, the host of the Celtic Sojourn radio show, compiles a collection of songs that mixes the contemplative with more raucous fare, ancient melodies with modern, and the earthy with the ethereal. The musicians come from all corners of the Celtic world, and include the Breton choir Ensemble Choral du Bout du Monde, who blend medieval vocal harmonies with modern instruments such as the tin whistle and the guitar; Dordan, the masters of Irish baroque music; and the pan-Celtic band the Boys of the Lough. Also included are English performers Maddy Prior (the lead singer of Steeleye Span) and the family group Waterson:Carthy, who deliver a hearty version of the "The Ditchling Carol." The majority of the tracks feature vocals, but the instrumental selections–particularly fiddler Bonnie Rideout's haunting "Gloomy Winter" and the lovely "Midwinter Waltz" from the Boys of the Lough–do a beautiful job of wordlessly evoking the season. By passing over too-familiar Christmas songs in favor of less-well-known melodies, O'Donovan has come up with that rarest of all holiday treats–a gift that that both surprises and delights.