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Music, theater staff choose Christmas hits

Elvis Presley: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' (RCA)
Elvis Presley: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' (RCA)
James Taylor: 'James Taylor at Christmas' (Columbia)
James Taylor: 'James Taylor at Christmas' (Columbia)

Colindatorii: "Birth and Rebirth: Romanian Carols and Hymns for Christmas and Easter" (Brave Records)--The crystal-clear voices of Colindatorii communicate the peaceful, yet joyous harmonies of traditional carols and liturgical music from Eastern Europe and Romania.

Elvis Presley: "Elvis' Christmas Album" (RCA)--Issued in 1957, this album has a side of rock songs and one of carols and Christian songs, including versions of "White Christmas" as well as "Blue Christmas." Check out "Santa Claus is Back in Town."

James Taylor: "James Taylor at Christmas" (Columbia)--The singer-songwriter offers a mellow mix of jazz-tinged arrangements, from the flirtatious "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (with Natalie Cole) to the poignantly beautiful "In the Bleak Midwinter."

"Ceremonies of Carols: Music of Britten, Poulenc, Respighi" (Arkiv)--This is not your usual holiday listening album but has beautiful performances of Britten's "Ceremony of Carols," Poulenc's "Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noel" and Respighi's "Lauda per la Nativita del Signore."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 20, 2006 (download PDF).

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