12 recordings of Christmas

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There’s a lot of really fantastic content available online. Sometimes I spend hours just following links, unearthing amazing recordings that I had no idea existed. In an effort share some of my discoveries, I have devised a little game.

For each of the 12 days of Christmas, I chose a striking YouTube recording of the appropriate number of musicians. For instance, on the first day of Christmas, I picked an unaccompanied piece, and then a duet for the second day, a trio for the third, and so on. Conductors, page turners, dancers, and other silent performers don’t count. To keep things interesting, I didn’t repeat any composers or performers.

Unlike other similar list games, this one isn’t necessarily supposed to represent my “favorite” anything. Hopefully you’ll find some music you really like, but rather than trying to find a recording of my favorite piece of music, I tried to highlight spectacular videos.

Here’s my list:

  1. Beethoven: “Hammerklavier” Sonata
    Yuja Wang
  2. Schumann: Adagio & Allegro
    Mischa Maisky and Martha Argerich
  3. Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio
    Spiegel Trio
  4. Ludwig: Pale Blue Dot
    Dover Quartet
  5. Schubert: “The Trout” Piano Quintet
    Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Jaqueline du Pre, Zubin Mehta, and Daniel Barenboim
  6. Bach: Art of Fugue
    Musica Antiqua Köln (six performers total throughout the video)
  7. Berlioz: Oraison funèbre
    University of Michigan Trombone Choir
  8. Wagner: Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral
    Szeged Trombone Ensemble
  9. Brackett: Simple Gifts
  10. Dowland: The Earle of Essex Galiard
    Royal Wind Music
  11. Respighi: Pines of Rome
    All Star Brass
  12. Dvorak: Serenade for Winds
    Members of the Berlin Philharmonic

What great recordings have you found on YouTube? I’d love to see some other people’s lists!