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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Joan Baez - Noël 1966

Noël was a Christmas album by Joan Baez, released in 1966. Working with composer Peter Schickele (PDQ Bach), Baez, for the first time, recorded an album outside the standard guitar-based folk format. (She would go on to work with Schickele on her next two albums, both of which also featured classical orchestration.) Unlike holiday albums by many other popular artists, Baez included mostly traditional material, avoiding more lighthearted or commercial fare in favor of a somber, understated tone. She included both familiar ("The Little Drummer Boy") and more obscure ("Down in Yon Forrest") material.

One of my favourite holiday LPs as a child, I still enjoy it. I've always liked that it is very low key and mellow, as holiday recordings go.

O come, O come Emmanuel
Coventry Carol
Good King Wenceslas (instrumental)
The little drummer boy
I wonder as I wander
Bring a torch, Jeanette, isabella (instrumental)
Down in yon forrest
Carol of the birds
Angels we have heard on high (instrumental)
Ave Maria (Schubert, in German)
Mary's wandering
Deck the halls (instrumental)
Virgin Mary
Away in a manger
Away in a manger (French)
Adeste Fidelis (instrumental)
Burgundian Carol
Cantique de Noel (French)
The first Noel
What child is this
Silent night

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