Christmastime of Year

There was a recent thread in the American Musicological Society’s email list, wondering how Early Music got to be associated with Christmas? Since these are my [favorite](http://www.amazon.com/Spiked-Spike-Jones/dp/B000003ELA/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1387393375&sr=1-1&keywords=spike+jones+nutcracker+suite) [holiday](http://www.amazon.com/Charlie-Brown-Christmas-Remastered-Expanded/dp/B0090X4H0W/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1387392789&sr=1-1&keywords=charlie+brown+christmas) [records](http://www.amazon.com/Respect-Yule-Sextet/dp/B009M6EFU4/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1387392821&sr=1-1&keywords=respect+sextet), I couldn’t understand the topic.

To them, I add two worthy new releases:

* *[Veni Emmanuel](http://www.amazon.com/Veni-Emmanuel-Choir-Clare-College/dp/B00C29HBJK/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1387392840&sr=1-1&keywords=veni+emmanuel)*: a gorgeous collection of choral music, old and new, exquisite singing and brilliantly put together by Music Director Graham Ross.
* *[Tchaikovsky & Ellington: Nutcracker Suites](http://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-Ellington-Harmonie-Ensemble-York/dp/B00COU082E/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1387392913&sr=1-1&keywords=harmonie+ensemble+new+york)*: an equally brilliant idea, play the original suite then Duke’s arrangement of the music. Great idiomatic musicianship from Steve Richman and the Harmonie Ensemble.

And better than the Yule Log are the selections at [medici.tv](http://www.medici.tv), itself a great gift for anyone who enjoys classical music — the site is offering up to 40% off subscriptions and gift cards through December 31. Here’s something from Joshua Bell and Renée Fleming, part of a webcast available until January 31.

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