A Classical Christmas Playlist chosen by Vicky Dawson
To round off our musical Advent collection, we share a final Christmas playlist from BIF Book Festival Director, Vicky Dawson.
Vicky has worked in bookshops from the south coast to Moray in the North-East of Scotland. She was a store manager for both the Waterstones and Ottakar’s book chains and was a partner in two independent bookshops until 2018 when she relocated to Derbyshire. Utterly committed to spreading the joy of the written word, Vicky now runs an online second hand bookshop specialising in art, architecture and history alongside her role as Book Festival Director at BIF.
You can view each piece via the links below or watch them in sequence via this YouTube playlist.
Vicky writes – “Last year at this time I had enjoyed the Scottish Ensemble performing a Christmas Carol concert at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. Fearing I wouldn’t hear any carols this year I stopped and listened to the children at Cromford Primary School belt out ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ in the school playground last week, clearly as part of PE with hugely elaborate hand gestures to demonstrate each gift. My picks for getting in the Christmas spirit are -“
Wassail Carol (arr Vaughan Williams): Guildford Cathedral 1966 (Barry Rose)
I first sang this in the Brownies. I love any version of a ‘Wassail’ from Ralph Vaughan William’s arrangement of ‘We’ve Been A-While-A-Wandering’ on a lovely cd called ‘I Love My Love’ through to Kate Rusby’s ‘Cornish Wassail’ on her album ‘The Frost Is All Over’.
Darke: In the bleak mid-winter · The Brighouse And Rastrick Brass Band
I love a brass or silver band and Christmas will not be the same for not chancing on a Salvation Army Band on a High Street (in Leek last year). This is a great combination of three of my favourite things- Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ read by Simon Callow accompanied by the very fine Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band playing traditional Christmas Carols.
Bing Crosby- Count Your Blessings (Instead Of Sheep)
This love song (from Bing Crosby crooning to Rosemary Clooney in the film ‘White Christmas’) sums up my feelings on a year when I ‘Count My Blessings’. So not a Christmas song as such but from an unsurpassed Christmas movie. And yes, its about as cheesy and sentimental as it gets……