Joy is the destination emotion this time of year. And the pressure to get there is enormous, which is where Christmas concerts come into our lives.
Two weekend programs intelligently attacked the problem from opposite directions: Piffaro the Renaissance Band took the left-brain route Saturday at the Trinity Center in a Germanic program with fine program notes and lighting levels that allowed you follow translations from Latin and German when guest soprano Laura Heimes was singing.
On Friday, the Crossing choir at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill was a right-brain concert full of mystery and candlelit atmosphere. As the chorus unexpectedly moved to different parts of the church, you had to experience the music more intuitively. Even transitional moments were accompanied by quiet ambient chimes, telling you to keep your brain turned on.