Music: The Pick of the Holiday Season

Some Christmas gift suggestions, from Debussy to Devo


Beethoven: Missa Solemnis (Soprano Anna Tomova-Sintow, Alto Patricia Payne, Tenor Robert Tear, Bass Robert Lloyd, London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Colin Davis conductor, Philips; 2 LPs). Under Davis, Beethoven's great Mass moves majestically from the solemn opening Kyrie to a troubled Agnus Dei, in which timpani and trumpets dramatically evoke man's troubled state, before the Mass ends on a serene note. The performance is both spiritually and musically intense, and the chorus sings like the heavenly hosts.

Puccini: Madama Butterfly (Soprano Renata Scotto, Tenor Placido...

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