That said, it is now the week before Christmas, and it's time for Christmas music. At last!
David's little chorus, Voci, is singing each night this week from 6 to 7 in the lobby at Spanish Bay Resort in Pebble Beach, and this evening I went with my friend Nina to hear them. It was very pleasant! For one thing, I like watching them: they all dress in various combinations of black and red, with a little green and some sparkles splashed in, and it's visually so pleasing, plus: their beautiful faces as they sing. There's a giant Christmas tree that is also cheery, and every year the hotel commissions a tabletop gingerbread village to be made: this year it's a ski resort, complete with mountains (not made of gingerbread, alas). And of course, there are libations. Overpriced, but it's Pebble Beach. Grin and bear it—and pretend you're rich.
I don't always listen to these albums at the Christmas season, but one album I do always listen to, on Christmas day itself, is Handel's Messiah. I have a couple of versions, one big and bold, one smaller and more quiet (with traditional instruments), both courtesy of my brother, who loves classical music.
Here are some performance videos that I scraped up just now. Béla Fleck (it gets going about one minute in), Chanticleer's sublime version of "Ave Maria," and sorry for the saccharine, but I had to include the "White Christmas" scene from the eponymous movie starring Bing and Danny Kaye—with the dialogue dubbed into German, ha ha ha! Geez, the things the Internet turns up. And finally, "For unto Us a Child Is Born" and the "Hallelujah" Chorus—the bookends of a single, earth-changing story.
Merry Christmas! Or whatever holiday you celebrate as we in the Northern Hemisphere slide back into the light. (Me, I'm happy celebrating Solstice, but it doesn't offer up much in the way of music.)