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Mike Duncan's Christmas Music Picks

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The Glorious Sound of Christmas: Eugene Ormandy; The Philadelphia Orchestra; Temple University Concert Choir

An over-the-top, larger-than-life kind of Christmas album. Recorded in 1962, it definitely reminds me of the kind of Christmas music that was heard in my childhood. A favourite track from this (although it is difficult as they are all so good), would be #9, “The First Noel” – it has always been an almost haunting song for me – lots of minor key mystery and low notes surging up to high ones. As jaded as I can get with the season, this track always makes me stop and listen.


Joy To The World: Music Of Christmas; The Empire Brass

The first Christmas disc I ever bought. The sound of brass band always reminds of Christmas and, to my mind, this is one of the best. #1 – “Joy To The World” is my favourite.


Classical 96.3 FM Presents The Real Music Of Christmas

A first rate compilation put together by John van Driel, and the best one he ever did. Every track is a winner and it’s my first “go to” disc when I start to decorate the Christmas tree. My favourite track on this is – and my favourite recording of this particular carol – is #6 “The Huron Carol” sung by the Toronto Children’s Chorus. Maybe because it has been hammered into our heads that this is somehow a native Canadian song, it does conjur up images of a cold northern night. Which I like. A lot.

Mike Duncan co-hosts Good Day GTA, weekday mornings from 5:00 AM – 9:00 AM, on The New Classical FM.

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