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Christmas has been hijacked

By maxwell edison ·
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I received an email recently inviting me to a Holiday Party. Okay, nothing new there. Christmas Parties have long been replaced by Holiday Parties in most places, and extra effort is often made to include those from faiths outside Christianity, as well as agnostics, and atheists. What was interesting about this particular invitation, however, was that while it excluded any mention of Christian themes, it INCLUDED themes from other religions and cultures.

Happy Hanukkah, it said, below an image of a Menorah; Happy Kwanzaa, it said, below an image of a Kinara; Happy Holidays, it said, below an image of a snowman and snowflakes. What? No Christmas? Neither in word or image?

I blame stupidly and ignorance on the part of the person who generated the invitation, and an over-zealous attempt to let political correctness trump reason. What happens when Christians feel offended because their religious faith and culture is excluded while others are specifically included?

Now I'm no Bible thumper by any stretch of the imagination. And I hardly ever discuss my own spiritual beliefs. But if people don't like others who celebrate the CHRISTAIN HOLIDAY called, CHRISTMAS, then don't celebrate.

What was once an almost exclusive Christian day of celebration and remembrance, soon became watered-down, and has now expelled the very thing that started it all - Christmas.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, everybody. And if that offends you, that's just too bad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXh7JR9oKVE

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It's a lovely piece of music

by neilb@uk In reply to I'm having trouble

but I don't really consider the "God" part.

I've seen (well, listened to, really) Messiah live several times and it's just something to wallow in.

:)

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Wallow

by NickNielsen In reply to It's a lovely piece of mu ...

That's a good description of what I do: stretch out my legs, cross my arms, close my eyes, and tip my head back. Then just listen and smile until it's over...

Brahms' Requiem has the same effect, as does Beethoven's Ninth, Ravel's arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition, Gregorian chants, and any Russian liturgical music.

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Same effect

by santeewelding In reply to Wallow

Dumbstruck at all else that others do, and have done through all these ages, that I have proven incapable of doing myself.

It's what I mean by, "the rest of you", meaning in no small measure those of you here.

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You have

by NickNielsen In reply to Same effect

<a href=http://santeewelding.com/>achievements</a> of your own, among them the creation of art, in more than one form.

With regard to creation, I am a novice; my art is seen only indirectly.

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You are coy

by santeewelding In reply to You have

I have it on good authority: me.

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Anyone for Pergolesi?

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Wallow
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Good choices all

by JamesRL In reply to Wallow

I will add a few more in.

As a singer I have an aversion to the 9th. Its something to do with the vocal straining that inevitably happens. I know professionals who hate to perform it. I do like the sentiment.

As for Requiems, the Mozart is dramatic. But I prefer to perform the Faure. Its vision of heaven "In Paradisium" to me is subtle and nicely coloured and sublime. My youngest daughter would accompany me to rehersals, and she would cry(and not because she missed someone or because it was bad) during that piece.

I've always liked any of the Russian group of 5. I played that piece in High School, once as a brass player, once on ympani, and loved it.

As for Gregorian Chant, I went here during my Austria/Czech trip:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heiligenkreuz_Abbey

Didn't get to hear them live but bought a CD, great stuff.

My favorite Ave Maria (and I'm not catholic) is by Biebl. He combines Gregorian chant and modern choral singing. I'm sure you can find it on YouTube, I can't access it from work.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Biebl
Sadly I was in a choir, trying to produce an album, and we tried to record this and it wasn't up to our standards, because it was a demanding piece and we didn't have time to learn it. Chanticleer does it very well, if you look maybe you can find their televised concert on TV near Christmas, it is very good.

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Some links now I am home

by JamesRL In reply to Good choices all

Biebel Ave Maria:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WSbq3TCcd0

Faure Requiem - In Paradisium
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82L8AaqA-Dc

You can find a mixed choir of both pieces if thats more to your taste. I've only performed them in a mixed choir.

I'd not be unhappy if someone played these at my funeral.

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The most difficult for me

by NickNielsen In reply to Good choices all

I've performed Carmina Burana three times: twice in the chorus, and once in the orchestra. I much preferred the orchestra.

I sang second tenor for the first choral performance, baritone for the second. Orff appears to have believed that the accepted ranges for male voices were just too low. In the arrangement we had, both tenor parts were written using treble clef, the baritone using tenor clef. (Added: The tenor parts were sung as written and not tranposed down the octave!) I don't think the first tenors ever dropped below the staff, and the second tenors might have gone as low as middle C once or twice. The baritones had notes above the staff (in tenor clef!) Even the basses had parts with a ledger line or two involved.

I remember the tenor soloist breaking us up during a dress rehearsal by commenting that he couldn't do justice to <a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US3PoZ1MqGI>Olim lacus colueram</a> that night because he saved his tightest shorts for performances.

First trumpet was much easier.

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You know...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to The most difficult for me

all this time I was thinking of mentioning Carmina... but since we were talking religious - as opposed to deliberately blasphemous - music, I didn't. I'm sorry for the faux pas of underestimating TR subject flux .

A funny thing; over here, Ibuprofen pain killers are marketed mostly under a big brand name - Burana! To my mind always comes an image from that; a man with a hangover getting blasted with, in sequence, two phrase fragments - the opening O Fortuna! Immediately followed by "WAAAAFNA!!!". Repeat ad nauseam ]:)

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