I had to buy something at Yuppie Mall yesterday—you know, the one that counts Neiman Marcus as an anchor tenant. I try to avoid malls at this time of year, not so much as a rejection of the commercialization of Christmas, but mostly on account of my extreme disdain for saxophone-based Christmas medleys. You know, those “jazzy,” Kenny G-style improvisations on “Silver Bells” issuing from hidden speakers so numerous that the reverberating sounds have no locatable source other than inside your head? The kind of tunes that make you want to go on a murderous rampage? Right.
Well, as I was leaving Yuppie Mall, to my incredible surprise, my favorite Christmas carol ever came on the PA: John Gardner’s adaptation of Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day. I stopped in my tracks. Since when did shopping mall PA programmers develop such good taste? (And an appreciation for completely indiscernable time signatures?)
Could this be a comeback for choral music? Last month, I was a little startled to hear the opening measures of Vivaldi’s Gloria in the bathroom at Hong Kong International Airport.