With each return of winter, songs can be heard from bygone times. Whether in order to promote sales or to feign family idylls, everywhere they run the danger of degenerating into trickling sentimentality. Thus the present loses touch with an exquisite tradition whose roots go all the way back to medieval mystery plays.
Yet from this source can still spring a rose e’er blooming. The essence of these long-extant songs lies hidden in the silence of a distant past, resting like a parchment waiting to be read and to be brought once again to life. Whether Latin antiphona or French noël, German Lied or English carol, each song of Christmas is a unique and tranquil blossom.
In order to usher his listeners back into this stillness, George Frederick Takis briefly describes the particular character of each song, sharpens their hearing for the barely audible reverberations of an ancient story, crystalline and delicate like descending snowflakes. He then sings to an accompaniment of string orchestra, organ and glockenspiel which, variously simple or sumptuous, provides the worthy setting for a succession of gems.