24. 'Christmas Joy in Latvia – Latvian Christmas Cantatas' (2012)
If you're looking for actual, traditional Christmas music, you couldn't do better than this rich, fascinating album of carols done by the New York Latvian Concert Choir, which is conducted by 74-year-old Andrejs Jansons. Mixing modern and ancient, Christian and pagan, sung in a clean, distinctly Baltic vocal style, this music powerfully evokes the richly textured, American immigrant experience. "On Christmas Eve" recalls old-time Broadway musicals, while "My Lovely Flax Field," connects to a distant, more exotic past. And if you think Christmas music has lost its sense of religious meaning, "The Word Was Made Flesh" is all you'll need to reset your spiritual clock.