Had my Christmas songs on shuffle as I drove home from a half-day of work, getting in the mood for tonight and tomorrow, looking forward to taking off from work until Jan 4, and one of my top five Christmas songs came on. I decided to link to it on the blog as a way to get back into this swing of this here online journal. But I was utterly disappointed with the versions of the song I could find on-line.
Back in 1996, I attended the Notre Dame Glee Club's Christmas concert and was absolutely amazed breathless by their rendition of Franz Biebl's Ave Maria. Unfortunately, the versions now available by the NDGC, while pretty, lack all of the punch that the 1996 crew managed. In fact, the song sounds almost like a dirge in the current production. I'm not sure if the director changed or what, but in 1996, the song built to a powerful crescendo that brought tears to my eyes and made me want to thank every single man on that stage for giving me one of those musical experiences that I carry with me and treasure. (This is the version, much to my delight, immortalized on the CD I bought while a student but no longer available for ya'll to enjoy.)
Instead, I shall share another of my top five Christmas songs.