Christmas Music that doesn’t Suck #1: Sweelinck Hodie

December 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm (Music) (, , , , )

You know what’s great about Christmas? It’s the one time of year that you can totally listen to classical music and it’s totally normal. Nobody looks at you funny, nobody complains that your favorite radio station is putting them to sleep, nobody claims you’re killing the party. We classical music lovers are fortunate that hits like Handel’s Messiah have stayed in the standard popular repertoire.

However, we are still subjected 90% of the time to this god-awful holiday pop drivel. You can’t shop or sip your coffee without being subjected to slimey renditions of “Baby it’s cold outside” or “Santa baby” or that whatever that crap Mariah Carey is singing is. Why, when we have centuries upon centuries of amazing works of music, do we subject ourselves to this sludge?

And the thing is, I’m not a classical music snob at all. Anyone who’s read this blog probably knows I’m in a rock band and have recorded an album. But I’m calling it like I see it. This adult contemporary Christmas stuff is awful, and we don’t have to take it. At least, not when we have control of the stereo.

From now until Christmas, I’m going to post Christmas music that does not suck. I’ll try to do it every day, ’cause I’ve been in absentia with blogging pretty much since I moved, and need to get caught up.

Most of it will be classical, and probably a lot that I’m singing in one of the many Christmas concerts and services I’ll be involved with this year, as well as previous years.

On with the show:

My first selection is Sweelinck’s “Hodie Christus natus est.” “Today Christ is born.”

This is late Renaissance music by a Dutch guy.

Why do I love this piece? It changes so fast. Tempo, meter, color, texture. It’s enough to make you seasick. I love that kind of stuff.

Let me know how you like it!

 

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