While not exactly classical, most of what we consider
Christmas music was actually written long ago. Apart from
the fact that it is overplayed, Christmas music can be a good
I hesitate to recommend any recordings as there are many ao many
styles but I suppose if one wanted to start with something, the
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra playing Christmas favorites might
be as good a place as any. Some
would normally tell you to get The
Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, but I think it would be best if that
put that off until later in this dicussion for a variety of reasons.
The primary reason being that I wish to disassociate that work from
the holiday of Christmas.
One of the most loved modern composers was Leroy Anderson
(1908-1975) He wrote light orchestral
music and lyrical instrumentals. The CD pictured is The
Best of Leroy Anderson and I believe you will hear familiar
pieces as The Typewriter, Blue Tango, Waltzing Cat, and the once very
popular Syncopated Clock.
Waltzing Cat is a wonderful bit of music but discovered it has
There once was a tomcat.
A wonderful tomcat
who had all the usual faults.
But this cat was different
and what made him different
was his inclination to waltz.
Each night this feline sir
to his lady love would purr...
I love to waltz - meow
On a night like this with stars in the sky
I love to waltz - meow
As I look into your lovely green eyes
I never knew
What a little waltz would do
Till the night I danced with you
Lightly as a feather
We'll pussyfoot together
I'd love to spend - meow
all my 9 lives just waltzing with you.
See if you can put the words and the music together. The meow is
easy to pick out and makes for a easy marker. The Waltzing Cat is
classed a lyrical instrumental and is a fun bit of music. I have
met anyone that did not smile upon hearing this piece performed with
Anderson also wrote Sleigh Ride
which is now a Christmas standard.
Listen to the entire CD and see if you don't recognize Blue Tango as
something you have heard before. The late Arthur Fiedler, who
conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra for many years, considered
Leroy Anderson's Blue Tango his favorite of all the works written by
Another series of favorites that I think you will enjoy are the Telarc
Spectaculars series. The titles of these CDs are Symphonic Spectaculars and Orchestral Spectaculars.
I consider both CDs an fun introduction to classical music.