ARGUABLY, THE GREATEST RELIGIOUS WORK OF MUSIC EVER WRITTEN IS GEORGE FREDERIC HANDEL'S ORATORIO MESSIAH. AND THE GREATEST SINGLE WORK FROM THAT MASTERPIECE IS THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS. PLEASE ENJOY THREE DIFFERENT ARRANGEMENTS OF THIS GREATEST OF CHRISTIAN ANTHEMS.
FROM THE PROJECT THE NEW YOUNG MESSIAH WITH A MASS CHOIR, TWILA PARIS, LARNELLE HARRIS, STEVE GREEN, SANDY PATTY, MICHAEL ENGLISH AND WAYNE WATSON - THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN / HALLELUJAH
HALLELUJAH BY ONE OF AMERICA'S GREATEST CHOIRS AND ORCHESTRAS- THE MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR.
AND IF YOU WANT TO SEE UNADULTERATED JOY, JUST WATCH THIS CHOIR OF YOUNG SINGERS PERFORMING THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS FROM HANDEL'S MESSIAH: A SOULFUL CELEBRATION
AND TO CLOSE OUT THIS YEAR'S COUNTDOWN - RAY LAMONTAGNE MAKES ME THINK ABOUT THINGS - THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER. AND HE HAS ONE OF THE MOST SOULFUL VOICES RECORDING TODAY. THIS FINAL TUNE - A TOUCHING, HEARTFELT PERFORMANCE OF RAY CHARLES' THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS.
In researching songs for The Countdown until I am now completely deaf, I ran across an interview with Anne Morse, the author of a new novel entitled Bedford Falls, a "sequel" to one of the most watched Christmas movies in history - It’s A Wonderful Life - starring James Stewart and directed by Frank Capra. It's basically a story about the value of one man's life to others in his life. And it has a spiritual context because there is an angel involved. Just click here to read the entire interview.
In the course of the interview, many issues about the original movie and how it all relates to the new novel were discussed. When the interviewer asked the writer - What's so wonderful about It's A Wonderful Life - the novelist replied:
"Because Frank Capra succeeded in his goal to “reflect the compelling words of Friar Giovanni of nearly five centuries ago: ‘The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within reach, is joy. There is a radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see, and to see we have only to look.’
This is the message behind the comedy, the romance, the trials and temptations — everything."
That is a thought worth committing to memory in your head and your heart. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!