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A Very Vocal Christmas
Great Performances That Celebrate the Spirit of the Season

Listen Listen to Tom Manoff's report, including his criteria for what makes a good vocal performance.

Dec. 18, 2001 -- NPR music critic Tom Manoff has chosen four CDs that he's listening to over the Christmas holidays -- all vocal performances. He says the rich and compelling sound of a great singer feels especially appropriate for this time of year.

Gardiner

Once As I Remember
John Elliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir
Uni/Philips - #462050

"This is easily my favorite Christmas recording of recent years."

Listen Listen to "El Rorro" from the CD.

Figueras

The Voice of Emotion
Montserrat Figueras
Fontalis - #9901

"Great singers have more than wonderful voices... they convey emotion."

Listen Listen to "Chanson Sefardite" from the CD.

Heppner

Airs Francais
Ben Heppner
2001 Deutsche Grammophon 4713722

"I seem to have a soft spot for French music this year."

Listen Listen to "Nature immense" from the CD.

Piaf

The Voice of the Sparrow
The Very Best of Edith Piaf
EMD/Capitol 96632

"Labels like 'classical' and 'popular' are irrelevant with Piaf -- she's a voice for the ages."

Listen Listen to "C'est L'amour" from the CD.