First off, I have a problem with Christmas music before Christmas. Christmas starts on December 25th, and consists of 12 joyous days until Epiphany when the 3 kings brought gifts, or so the story goes.
Advent, the time before Christmas, is supposed to be a time of waiting, of fasting, of quiet reflection. So how did we end up with all this Christmas music blaring throughout our public sphere during the time of waiting, only when Christmas begins to have all the Christmas music stop on the second day with 11 more days to go?
We should have exactly 12 days of Christmas music starting on Christmas day and ending on January 6th. I warned you, this is a rant.
Amidst getting all of this wrong, we have some really terrible Christmas songs out there. Jingle Bells has to be one of the worst offenders, because it's actually a Thanksgiving song. (Really! Look it up.) Silver Bells? My ears, ouch.
Something else we got wrong was letting go of all the great Christmas music that does exist out there. How do we forget to play Corelli’s Concerto Grosso Op 6. No. 8 Per La Notte Di Natale. Its fantastic! How about Camille Saint Saens’ Tollite Hostias? Another wonderful work that is forgotten.
I’d like to share with you now for the second day of Christmas a recording I made of the Saint-Saens work, as well as allow you to download the score here to learn for yourself on guitar.
I’m done ranting – I’m playing good music.
And watch my arrangement of the Corelli with members of the NYC Guitar Orchestra.