I was once accused of being a musical bigot. Thank you. I wasn't a music major for nothing. America is a cesspool of popular music being touted as "art."
I am hereby doing my part to educate and share and generally lift up the collective musical conscience of the world by bringing to your attention music that is, actually, really very good and worthy of listen.
If you're a lover of good music, you don't need the introduction: you already know. But if you happen to think the world really needed a Justin Bieber Christmas album, or a Carrie Underwood version of The Sound of Music, then this is for you. This is what good art, this is what craft, sounds like. This is how good it really can be.
Here's the only thing - don't play this in the background. Stop what you're doing, except maybe sipping on that hot beverage, still your heart, and take this in.
You can thank me later.
Let's start with Lauridsen's Magnum Mysterium. The text is from the Matins of Christmas, the liturgy that takes the church through the darkest hours before dawn on Christmas morning.
O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear Christ the Lord.