After listening to my daughter’s selections of favorite Christmas carols as her responses to footnoteMaven’s tradition of Blog Caroling, I obviously had to participate and, like my daughter, no way could I just pick one. I have always loved choral music as well as solo music with incredibly beautiful melodic lines. One of my early favorites was always O Holy Night because of its beautiful melody. When I decided to use a Christmas song in a novel I am writing with a setting of 1899, I was pleased and surprised to find that it had been written by Adolphe Adam in 1847 so was a perfect choice.Though I’m a soprano and the range and vocal line are well fitted for my voice, I’ve chosen the version done by Il Divo just because I like them.
The next carol to become a favorite is also one on my daughter’s Blog Caroling post – Carol of the Bells. This has to be a favorite of any choral singer because the movement of the voices is satisfying both melodically and harmonically. I loved it from the first choral run through. As a singer, you are blessed indeed if you are fortunate enough to sing this song in a choir with singers who are capable of singing with parts intermingled versus only getting to sing next to someone singing your same part.
Over the past few Christmases, I’ve sung with choirs who’ve sung two songs written by Michael W. Smith and they’ve both become favorites, not just for Christmas, but just favorites. One is No Eye Had Seen.
The second is All is Well. I love the way this song expresses both the message of joy of the arrival of God’s salvation and the sense of peaceful calm that joyful message brings. It was both those aspects that led me to choose this song to be played at my mother’s funeral service. Both these songs are on Michael W. Smith’s “Christmas” album.
A few years ago I found a Christmas album I really enjoy. It’s called Black Christmas: Spirituals in the African-American Tradition. Though I didn’t choose any of these as favorite carols, still as a classically-trained singer, I love the voices and interpretations on this album and the more I listen to it the more I enjoy it.