Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album CD (2002)

Artist: Various Artists

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Product Overview


Label Universal Classics
SKU 60572918
UPC 028947256823
UPC 14 00028947256823
Format CD
Release Date 10/15/2002
Author Various Artists
Technical Info
Producer Joseph S. Szurly (Compilation)
CatalogID 472568
Lable Name Decca
Released 10/15/2002
Original Release 2002
Number of Discs 1
Length 63m : 15s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00028947256823
Album Notes and Credits
Includes liner notes by Joseph S. Szurly.
Personnel: Arthur Grumiaux (violin).
Liner Note Author: Joseph S. Szurly.
Directors: Georg Ratzinger; Uwe Christian Harrer; David Willcocks .
Though it may not intend to, with its title The Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album addresses one of the biggest paradoxes of the holiday season: ideally, it should be one of the most joyous and relaxing times of the year, but thanks to shopping for gifts, social obligations, and heightened expectations, too often the holidays become stressful instead of pleasant. This collection of soothing instrumental and choral holiday favorites aims to restore some serenity to the season, and on at least one level, it succeeds; the gentle renditions of "O Holy Night," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and "The Christmas Waltz" have soft, lush arrangements that are definitely relaxing. However, the arrangements skirt dangerously close to the sappy, string-laden territory of Mantovani, 101 Strings, and countless other easy listening instrumentalists, and the cutesy harp, piano, and xylophone flourishes on many of the tracks threaten to push the album into kitsch. Of course, the Christmas albums by Mantovani, 101 Strings, and the like were hugely popular, and this album's nod to those sweetly bland holiday releases of the past could be intentional, adding to the built-in nostalgia that the season evokes. In some ways, the retro feeling of The Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album is more refreshing -- and yes, relaxing -- than the new age-tinged holiday albums that may very likely sound nostalgic a few decades down the road. The purely choral selections are simpler and more dignified than most of the intstrumentals on the album, though a few of the orchestral tracks later in the album lose some of the more obvious easy listening tendencies. An ultra-traditional collection, The Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album could be either stuffy or comforting, depending on your taste in holiday music and, quite possibly, how much eggnog you've had. ~ Heather Phares
Disc 1
1 Christmas Bells - Mantovani
2 O Holy Night - Mantovani
3 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Ronnie Aldrich/London Festival Orchestra
4 White Christmas - Mantovani
5 Christmas Waltz, The - Ronnie Aldrich/London Festival Orchestra
6 Winter Wonderland - Ronnie Aldrich/London Festival Orchestra
7 Mary's Boy Child - Mantovani/The Sammes Chorus & Singers
8 Christmas Song, The - Ronnie Aldrich/London Festival Orchestra
9 Adeste Fideles - Mantovani
10 Golden Carol, The (What Child Is This) - Frank Chacksfield
11 Coventry Carol - King's College Choir, Cambridge
12 Away In A Manger - Frank Chacksfield
13 In Dulci Jublio - Bach Choir
14 Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring - Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra/Karl Munchinger
15 Es Ist Ein Ros' Entsprungen - Die Regensburger Domspatzen
16 Ave Maria - Arthur Grumiaux/Istvan Hajdu
17 O Tannenbaum - Vienna Boys Choir
18 Winter (Largo from the "Four Seasons") - Alan Loveday/Sir Neville Marriner/Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
19 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Mantovani
20 I Saw Three Ships - Mantovani
21 Sinfonia - Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner (from "Christmas Oratorio")
22 Silent Night, Holy Night - Mantovani
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