The quest for non-crappy Christmas music

What can I say other than that I really don't like traditional Christmas music.

This year I've been debating whether or not to go try something a little bit different and take in something that I've never caught before - Handel's Messiah. There's at least one amateur production of this going on in the next few weeks as well as more professional renditions.

I'm sort of torn. On one hand, it seems like something of a bit more substance than the sort of Christmas music that you'd typically hear on radio stations and it's

one of the last distinctly Christian cultural events. Think about it: every year thousands and thousands of people pack concert halls to hear people sing Scripture set to music. They hear prophecies of a coming Messiah, they hear of his birth, they hear of his death and resurrection and they hear of his coming return. It is a remarkable thing. (src)

On the other hand it's even more annoying than random Christian music in certain ways, one with an annoying number of "traditions associated it, such as knowing (or thinking they know) when to stand and why." (src). And is there really a decent reason as to why to stand? To quote one conductor cited there to pauses to motion the audience to rise:

... because what really bothers [him] is all the commotion which takes place in the first 10-15 bars of the piece (when you don't make them rise) while they decide to rise and take their noisy time getting up.

Decisions, decisions, decision...


Darren's other half here. I have seen Handel's Messiah performed live a number of times, and it is a wonderful experience. I would definitely recommend it to you. If by traditionaly Christmas music you're referring to traditional hymns, then I disagree about liking it or not. I don't like what I would call modern Christmas music, like Winter Wonderland or Let it Snow, but I love the older Christmas hymns that you never seem to hear on the radio like Carol of the Bells or Silent Night done with a choir. Growing up listening to classical and choral music all the time makes me really yearn to listen to it at times like Christmas.

David - I would recommend that you try and catch a live performance this year. J & I saw/ listened to it in Calgary and it was very impressive.

BTW, I did wind up catching a performance last weekend. I think that the performers did quite well overall, but I'm still not quite sure what to think about it.

Soloists singing the same word for 10 seconds I wouldn't say is my thing. It had it's moments I'd say - but the tradition surrounding the thing still annoy me. Is it too much to ask people to stay seated during a performance?