Magazine December 20, 2010, Issue

Music: There They Go A-Caroling

Musicians play during a ceremony to light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., December 4, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
Jay Nordlinger ruminates on Christmas albums down the decades

There has been Christmas music ever since there has been Christmas. And there have been Christmas albums ever since there have been albums. Before albums, of course, there were single cuts. In 1916, Caruso recorded “Cantique de Noël,” which we Anglos know as “O Holy Night.” The great Italian sang it in French. But we can go back farther than 1916. Olive Fremstad, the Swedish-American soprano, recorded “Silent Night” — actually, “Stille Nacht” — in 1911. And Charles Gilibert, the French baritone, recorded “La Vierge à la crèche” (Périlhou, not Franck) in 1907. You can find both of these cuts

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