Cleansing your holiday music palette

If I hear "Hallelujah" once more, I swear......

Christmastime is wonderful, to be sure.  Lots of good food, putting a tree in your house for a month, seeing family and friends, midnight candle-lit church services: it's all-around good.  And of course, the music is fantastic.  All those favorites that we only pull out once a year, the perfect piece putting you into the perfect pastoral mood, or providing the ideal counterpoint to an egg-nog-induced fogginess...yes, the music of the season seems to be increasingly all around us, at all hours.


 Forgive me for shouting (for the barking dogs).  Of course, at WXXI we do try to play the good holiday music.  But even still, like that fifth glass of nog, it gets to be too much of a good thing when the music is on everywhere, all the time.

So rather than complain about it, I try to be proactive.  I've got three important ways to stay ahead of the musical insanity.  First of all, I genuinely try to enjoy the holiday music and the artist's interpretation (Except for the dogs.  I'm sorry, but I have one, and dogs are for two things: eating stuff and looking adorable.  Note that I did not include singing).  Mostly, I was successful this year, especially getting acquainted with some new recordings, new (to me) pieces, and new interpretations.

Secondly,  I look for musical projects to divert my attention from all-holiday all-the-time.  For 2008, it's been working on some chamber jazz versions of a couple standard tunes for two trombones and rhythm section.  In past years, it's primarily been recital preparation for the upcoming Winter and Spring (which was also true this year).

Third, I seek out music that cleases my pallette.  I like things like Telemann trio sonatas, Poulenc chamber music, and Stravinsky.  Here's an example from Igor himself: 

What's your palette cleanser?  Do you have something that is a consistent breath of fresh air?  You consumed a lot of yummy holiday music this month--what helps you fit back into your favorite pair of musical jeans?