How could I forget?

When I suggested some Christmas gift CDs, I somehow forgot Maya Beiser’s Provenance, which I’d raved about so strongly earlier. It’s a rich solo cello exploration — with added multitracking, electronics, and drums — of the middle eastern music Maya heard when she was young, and growing up in Israel. Plus (middle eastern-esque) Led Zep’s “Kashmir,” which she heard, just as we all did. Her romp through that crowns the album.

And I might also give a shout to Carlo Bergonzi’s Christmas album. Such a wonderfully pure tenor, though also formidably strong, one of the purest souls ever to sing Italian opera. One thing I love on this record: his performance of “White Christmas,” first in dutiful English, and then — as if the sun were coming out — so purely and freely in his own Italian. Too bad you can’t download this recording anywhere, as far as I can see. 

But then you could download Bergonzi’s Neapolitan Songs CD, another treasure. Here’s a brief sample, recorded from the sample Amazon makes available. Cuts off abruptly (I added a fade), but — so real, so tender, so heartbroken, so gorgeous. A tiny Christmas gift for you! 

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