Music for holiday living.
Steve Staruch

Steve Staruch Holiday Album Picks

Classical MPR's hosts were asked to list their top five holiday albums. Here are Steve Staruch's choices:
  • Taste of the Holidays ~ Vol 1
    1 & 2. “Taste of the Holidays” Vol. I & II

    There’s nothing like home-grown music making and I had a front row seat these past three years to some of the best holiday performances from regional artists. Each Taste of the Holiday disc is designed to flow from one holiday gem to another from the serene and spiritual to the comic and bright. The recipes provided by Lynn Rosetto Kasper are an added bonus. Our house smells and sounds good each December thanks to these recordings.

  • December Stillness
    3. December Stillness (Dale Warland Singers/Dale Warland: American Choral Catalogue [ACC] # 121)

    I like my eggnog with a little bit of spice and this holiday disc is plenty strong and satisfying. The Warland Singers perform with their characteristic warmth and spiritual/musical understanding. The Arvo Part setting of the MAGNIFICAT defies gravity as it hovers just above the ground, while Alf Houkum’s RUNE OF HOSPITALITY opens the door of the heart. This is a superb disc!

  • Spirit of Christmas
    4. The Spirit of Christmas: piano improvisations based on traditional carols. (self-produced by pianist Hiram Titus)

    This is a surprise find. It’s impossible to sit still when Hiram Titus improvises. His free-wheeling “sleigh ride” around traditional carols gives these well-worn tunes a new heart as well as an outward make-over.

  • Bach: Christmas Oratorio
    5. Bach: Christmas Oratorio (Amsterdam Baroque/Ton Koopman)

    Bach’s telling of the Christmas narrative is both exuberant and tender, the composer lavishing his best melodic gifts on the six cantatas that make up the work. Ton Koopman’s Amsterdam Baroque (orchestra, chorus and soloists) brings true joy in music making to this performance. In this recording the piece just dances!

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Taste of the Holidays Taste of the Holidays Vol. 1
The 21 song collection gathers together holiday classics such as "Joy to the World" performed by Choral Arts Ensemble, "The Christmas Song" by the Dolce Wind Quartet, "Greensleeves" by The Copper Street Brass Quintet, among others. The cd features a wonderful selection of classical music along with delicious recipes from Lynne Rossetto Kasper and The Splendid Table.

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A Chanticleer Christmas


Gifts for the Classical Music Lover
ArkivMusic presents a collection of the best classical music for gift-giving this holiday season. Including rare and value-priced items, this gift guide contains something for any classical music lover.
2011 Holiday Music Picks

More selections

The Splendid Table's "How to Weekends"
The Splendid Table's "How To Eat Weekends"
100 recipes and tips from The Splendid Table for your weekend cooking enjoyment!
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