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Christmas Music (Bright Day Star - Music for the Yuletide Season)

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Album Review

It's important to know the difference between 20th century Christmas pop and European Christmas folk carols. While favorites like "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "Jingle Bells," and Mel Tormé's "The Christmas Song" are examples of American Christmas pop, Bright Day Star: Music for the Yuletide Season focuses largely on traditional European Christmas carols. Most of the songs that the Baltimore Consort embraces on this CD date back to 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th century Europe, although a few are American folk pieces that originated in Appalachia in the 20th century. The European Yuletide carols or dance songs that the Consort (which has an engaging female soprano vocalist in Custer LaRue) chose for Bright Day Star range from Irish ("The Wren Song") and British ("Drive the Cold Winter Away," "Hey, For Christmas") to German ("Wir Singen Dir, Immanuel"). All of these songs are a product of Christian traditions, and yet, one needn't embrace the Christian faith to appreciate them. Just as one can enjoy Indian ragas without being a Hindu, listeners can appreciate this CD's richness whether or not they actually celebrate Christmas.

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Christmas Music (Bright Day Star - Music for the Yuletide Season), Baltimore Consort
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