Last night I went to St Martins in the Fields to see a concert. The reason I was there was because they were performing Benjamin Britten's "Ceremony of Carols" parts of which I had sung in high school, so it was lots of warm fuzzy Christmas memories. The first half of the programme was a new cantata...world premiere as a matter of fact. Very modern. Lots of dissonants and unresolved chords. Although I did like the piece where the angels appeared to the shepards: the two sopranos stood at the back of the church and harmonized a capella. I was pretty damn impressed with all the performers, since there wasn't a lot of melody coming from the piano or cello to work with.
The first half did send a couple pensioners scurrying for the doors at the interval, but the second half was much better. "Ceremony of Carols" was written during WWII (actually for St Martins, I think) so Britten only used women's voices and a harp, since that's all that was available. It was kind of spooky sitting in the church in the candlelight listening to these songs. It was very effective. Anyway, now I'm all in the Chrismas spirit--I got all my Christmas shopping done on Saturday. The last present was yours, mom. :) So now I guess it's full steam ahead on my analytical paper for New Performance Writing...oh, and I need to go see Twelfth Night...nothing more Christmassy than that. :)