Christmas music has a shaky reputation. If you’ve set foot in any shopping mall during the last two months you’re probably a victim of nonstop cheesy commercial holiday jingles. The overwrought reworking of the same crop of carols has reached cacophonous proportions. And we all deserve better. For over thirty years Joel Cohen and The Boston Camerata have made it a calling to resurrect the spirit of early music. The ensemble’s teaching, research, recording and concerts tap into an essential musical narrative, from medieval chants to Shaker spirituals.
The question, says Joel Cohen, is why the true and good roots of American music are overlooked by musicians, scholars, and the public. The Boston Camerata bucks this trend, and their repertoire is a welcome respite from the season’s typical sugar cane fare. We’re reviving the nourishing roots of an American Christmas this hour on the Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Joel Cohen, director of the Boston Camerata
and members of the Boston Camerata.