Lots of the same music we’ve listened to in the past although this year we’ve added in a bunch of new wind band and brass music. I find that I still veer away from a lot of the more recent, often TV based songs, and stick with more traditional music. In particular, after the local concert band played an arrangement of Holst’s In the Bleak Midwinter, I’ve been on the hunt for more versions.
This is a French horn quartet that has an interesting take on a lot of new music. This all French Horn version of the Eurhythmic’s “Sweet Dreams” is a good example.
They have a Christmas album out as well and I really like the mixture of old and new. I didn’t find any videos of their Christmas music that really capture the group’s spirit.
I hadn’t gone looking for another brass group – there are after all plentiful Canadian Brass Christmas albums – but German Brass is an exceptional outfit. They have a number of Christmas albums, none of which would be noticeably holiday-ish: very classical, often Baroque.
We have Brass Christmas, which includes Winter from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” as well as Handel and Bach.
It’s still not Christmas without kicking off the season with Straight No Chaser’s Christmas Can-Can, a tune that divides our family between the love/hate camps.
I found the London Philharmonic’s Spirit of the Season on Freegal. It has the typical Christmas carols as well as one we played in band, Fum Fum Fum. The arrangement we played – based on a Mannheim Steamroller version – was a bit more jazzy. I also went back to Redeye’s 2008 Christmas sampler. It includes the Fleshtones, Lisa Loeb, and other bands playing Christmas covers and other … er … holiday songs. I really like Punchline’s rockabilly-ish All Hopped Up on JIngle Bells.