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norman lebrecht

December 24, 2007

For those still filling in their worst-ever classical Christmas track, there’s a late surge of support for Robert Alagna’s Sleigh Ride Medley on DG’s We Wish You A Merry Xmas album. No more egregious assault on English language and cadence has been heard since the late King Lucy slaughtered cod lyrics to Adolphe Adam’s Cantique de Noel – dee star (sic) are brytlee shyning, eet ees dee nyte – in duet with Crown Prince Placido on untouchable Sony.
There’s also a specially written slice of mince on that selfsame album by Placido Domingo Jr – well, it’s the season when families get together, isn’t it?
By popular demand, lines for your worst-ever votes remain open til New Year’s Eve.
And those of you slumped before a UK telly at teatime on Xmas Eve can see a fine BBC2 doc on King Lucy’s greater moments.


  • Yi-Peng Li says:

    Could you think about some of the more pop-flavoured tracks on the Sony Christmas in Vienna records with Domingo & friends? The first Christmas in Vienna was OK but as the series went on it became more tacky. I’d say that the worst of the lot is from the 1997 concert with Brightman, Lotti and Cocciante. It features a rendition of the terrible non-carol pop song “Santa Claus is coming to town”, and it’s just trashy commercial pop tosh that worsens this obnoxious song. There are times when I think it’s so execrable that I wish the Christmas in Vienna show was only a one-off event rather than a monstrous nine-show carbuncle. And I would mention how there’s so many cheesy renditions of the traditional carols. I don’t know if there are any worse classical Christmas tracks, but this is the pits. And only the traditional carols from Cleobury and the King’s College Choir can save us.
    NL replies: I may be about to revisit this subject…