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Monday, 22 December 2014

The Sounds of Christmass

I love Christmas music, I love the great liturgical chants, I enjoy pop standards, I thrill to carols, I become a child again when I hear symphonic or oratoric ('zat a word?) masterworks of the season...

Renaissance polyphony? I'm there, hammered dulcimer? sign me up, our of tune trebles putting their hearts and soul into it? break out the steaming bishop and snickerdoodles!

 Over the weekend caught up with some perennials that were broadcast last week, and I would like to pay tribute to two divae.

Why was Jane Kean not a monster star?
Himself tell me that she was Trixie on the Honeymooners, but that warm mezzo (alto?) should have been bringing Broadway audiences to their feet for decades.

 She died shortly before I discovered her name last year, but the gorgeous song had stayed in my memory since I was a child - when I began singing I tried to get sheet music to no avail. It had gone unpublished until recently.
Anyway, I raise my glass to Merrill and Styne - but I hope they knew how lucky they were to have the services art of such a singer when Magoo's Christmas Carol was put together.(Himself was just that bit too old to have seen it in the day, and while I think he is only humoring me to pretend to enjoy it now, he agrees with me about Winter Was Warm.)

The second diva deserving of mention and admiration is one of the great heldentenors of our time, Darlene Love.

(And while I'm at it, thanks, Dave - you were a crank when I met you, but thanks for your Christmas show every year. And I got more than a little misty-eyed watching Jay Thomas peg that meatball atop the tree, and listening to the greatest talk show anecdote of all time in its final iteration.)

She'd be a hella Siegfried!

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