Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Sing a Song of Christmas
Grandma gave us money to buy a stereo component set the first Christmas we were married. The speakers were three feet high and the large amplifier supported a turntable and cassette deck. We enjoyed LP records for several years and accumulated many cassette tapes as well. I still have our vinyl collection but the cassettes were not as durable. The knobs broke off the old stereo and we gradually stopped using it when we started buying CD recordings. This year our CD player gave up the ghost just before Christmas so I bought $20.00 speakers for my iPad, loaded our CD collection onto iTunes and enjoyed hours of seasonal music in a new portable fashion.
There are many timeless Christmas compositions which most everyone recognizes at this time of year. I have heard one too many recordings of "O Holy Night" and will leave the room if I hear "Christmas Shoes" again. (The movie is worse than the song). But I love listening to Christmas music performed by British choirs, Sarah McLachlan, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Barbra Streisand, The Carpenters, Anne Murray, and many other contemporary and classical artists. I enjoy playing anything that is not too difficult.
A highlight of our Boston trip was a visit to Symphony Hall to hear the Boston Pops holiday concert. We watch it each year on television but it was a pleasure to see the grand, acoustically perfect building. Part of the performance we saw was recorded for a new live CD to be released in 2013. I believe some of next year's concert will also be included. The program included readings of The Grinch, The Night Before Christmas, carols, classical selections as well as the traditional sing-a-long.
In the past 35 years we have gone from vinyl to cassettes to CDs to mp3 and other digital recordings. I wonder what we will listen to 30 years from now? Live performances may be the only thing that stay unchanged.