Joseph Calleja, Ann Hallenberg & The Crossing Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

As the holiday season arrives there are new holiday albums, rarely performed gems, and world premiere recordings. Here is a look at what audiences can stream this week.

White Christmas

Joseph Calleja has released a single of the holiday classic on Decca Classics. The new track features Mantovani and His Orchestra and marks Calleja’s first Christmas recording.

Rising W/The Crossing 

New-music choir The Crossing releases its 22nd commercial release, Rising w/ The Crossing, on New Focus Recordings. The album features live concert recordings from The Crossing’s archives, chosen by conductor Donald Nally.

Tracks include David Lang’s “protect yourself from infection;” Joby Talbot’s “Lost Forever;” Ēriks Ešenvalds’ “Translation;” movements from Dieterich Buxtehude’s “Membra Jesu nostri,” BuxWV 75 with baroque ensemble Quicksilver; Paul Fowler’s “First Pink;” movements from David Lang’s the national anthems with members of the International Contemporary Ensemble; Ted Hearne’s “What it might say;” Ēriks Ešenvalds’ “Earth Teach Me Quiet” with Edward Babcock on marimba; and Santa Ratniece’s “Horo horo hata hata.” Physical CDs will be available on Jan. 1, 2021.


In celebration of Gluck’s 300th birthday, music scholar and harpsichordist Alan Curtis, founder of Il Complesso Barocco and leader of the period music ensemble for nearly four decades, prepared “Demofoonte” for performance. All of the arias had been preserved, but nearly all of the secco recitatives were lost. Curtis composed new recitatives in Gluck’s style.

The new release comes from 2014, a few weeks before the first modern performance of the piece. The cast includes Colin Balzer, Sylvia Schwartz, Ann Hallenberg, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, Romina Basso, Vittorio Prato, and Nerea Berraondo.

Girl in the Snow

Geoffrey Silver presents the world premiere recording of  “Girl in the Snow” by Scott Ordway. The piece is a 40-minute song cycle in which Ordway interweaves his beautiful lyrics with the words of African philosopher and theologian, Augustine. This recording features Julia Dawson and pianist Anna Naretto. The album will be released on streaming platforms and CD by Acis.

Virtual Advent Calendar

The Parea Recital Series continues the holiday song series. The series will release one-holiday song every day right up through Christmas Eve. There will be traditional and not-so-traditional carols, Hanukkah songs, and oratorio. among others. The Advent Calendar is a collaboration with Hilary Donaldson of Break Into Song and the Hymn Society.


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