December Celebration: New Carols by 7 American Composers
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My new holiday favorite
Now here's a good idea. If you're like me and are sick to death of hearing the same old holiday "classics" year after year, then you'll welcome this new release from Pentatone.
December Celebration presents a cohesive program of fresh-sounding, accessible carols by living American composers. And while the musical language might lean a little on the conservative side, these are all well-constructed compositions. There's no dumbing down here. Even the well-known "Silent Night" gets an imaginative -- but wholly appropriate -- re-imagining by Gordon Getty.
One of my personal favorites is "How Bright the Darkeness" by Luna Pearl Wolf. It's a delicately beautiful work, with a similar character to Britten's "Ceremony of Carols."
As with virtually all Pentatone releases, I strongly recommend purchasing the SACD version (as opposed to just downloading it). The more detailed the sound, the more beautiful the Volti Chorus seems to sing.
December Celebration will be getting heavy rotation in my personal holiday music playlist.