15 Dec A Christmas Celebration – Kathleen Battle
Here is another Christmas recording from the amazing Kathleen Battle (see my entry from December 8). On this recording from 1990, she is joined by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, The Boy’s Choir of Harlem all conducted by Leonard Slatkin. Battle’s precise voice is perfectly matched in these arrangements and the recorded sound, although almost thirty years old, does not sonically show its age whatsoever.
Of the tracks to pay extra attention – as if the music wouldn’t demand your attention anyway – is her rendering of Gounod’s Ave Maria. Breathless. Mary Had a Baby also sets the bar for this standard.
This is another one of those recordings that has been in my collection for decades on multiple media. Twenty-five tracks and sixty-three minutes of absolute Christmas musical mastery await.