Christmas Extraordinaire

Christmas Extraordinaire

4.0 6
by Mannheim Steamroller

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The Mannheim Steamroller dynasty rolls on with a new album of Christmas favorites for the 2001 season. Having sold over 18 million Christmas albums, they certainly are the experts, but for this release, the Steamroller and captain Chip Davis asked for some outside help. The legendary Johnny Mathis chimes in on "O Tannenbaum," the first vocalist ever to grace a…  See more details below


The Mannheim Steamroller dynasty rolls on with a new album of Christmas favorites for the 2001 season. Having sold over 18 million Christmas albums, they certainly are the experts, but for this release, the Steamroller and captain Chip Davis asked for some outside help. The legendary Johnny Mathis chimes in on "O Tannenbaum," the first vocalist ever to grace a Mannheim Christmas release. The dozen carols that make up Extraordinaire are the result of requests made by fans to the Steamroller's web site -- which means that for some lucky souls, this is an extra-special assortment. But rest assured that the familiar Mannheim touch will leave all listeners in a very merry mood.

Can't get enough Mannheim? Don't miss the Christmas box set, which features Extraordinaire plus the three original Christmas albums, all remastered in HDCD. The red-foil box makes this set ready for giving.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
Longtime holiday favorite Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas Extraordinaire is yet another holiday collection by the group. It's not much of departure from Mannheim's other holiday collections. If anything, it aims to resurrect the spirit of preceding holiday releases by Mannheim. There's a good chance if you enjoy other Mannheim holiday albums you'll enjoy this one. It's not one of the group's more noteworthy releases, but it should please Mannheim's devoted following. Some of the featured songs include "Hallelujah," "White Christmas," "Away in a Manger," and "Winter Wonderland," among others.
New York Times
With precision, taste and compositional derring-do, Chip Davis (the man driving the Steamroller) refines the blend of early classical and modern instrumental music that has characterized his best work (along with the occasional and welcome touch of humor).

Product Details

Release Date:
American Gramaphone

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mannheim Steamroller   Primary Artist,Ensemble
Jackson Berkey   Harpsichord
Ron Cooley   Bass,Guitar,Lute
Johnny Mathis   Vocals
Chip Davis   Conductor,Drums,Recorder
Almeda Berkey   Conductor,Choir Director
Beth Asbjörnson   Choir, Chorus
Lois Carlsen   Choir, Chorus
Barbara Carlson   Choir, Chorus
Dale Clevenger   French Horn
Magareth Evans   Choir, Chorus
Mark Fisher   Trombone
Greg Flint   French Horn
Barbara Haffner   Cello
David Hildner   Violin
Denise Johnson   Choir, Chorus
Peter LaBella   Violin
Roxanne Layton   Recorder,Crumhorn
Clara Lindner   Violin
Ann Miller   Choir, Chorus
Bob Morgan   Horn,Oboe
Phyllis Noble   Choir, Chorus
Rebecca Noble   Choir, Chorus
Arnie Roth   Violin,Concert Master
Carrie Solomon-Schultz   Choir, Chorus
Michael Shelton   Violin
Barbara Thornburgh   Choir, Chorus
Collins Trier   Bass
Catherine Vouk   Choir, Chorus
Everett Zlatoff-Mirsky   Violin
John Bruce Yeh   Clarinet
Bobby Jenkins   Oboe
Blair Milton   Violin
Alice Render   French Horn
Gregory Sarchet   Bass
Lawrie Bloom   Clarinet
Joseph Guastafeste   Bass
Janene Jensen   Choir, Chorus
Marlou Johnston   Violin
Ronald Satkiewicz   Violin
James Smelser   French Horn
Judy Stone   Cello
Charles Vernon   Bass Trombone
George Vosburgh   Piccolo Trumpet
Karen Hughes   Choir, Chorus
Pauli Ewing   Violin
Marlise Klein   Viola
Rika Sekko   Violin
Karl Davis   Viola
Florentina Ramniceanu   Violin
Jamie Reamer   Choir, Chorus
Kay Weber   Choir, Chorus
Bobby Swan   Viola
Jacques Johnson   Choir, Chorus
Laura Miller   Violin
Linda Oper   Violin
Kathleen Brauer   Violin
Elizabeth Holzman   Viola
Soli Deo Gloria Cantorum   Choir, Chorus
Jerry Blackstone   Choir Director
Elliott Golub   Violin

Technical Credits

Mannheim Steamroller   Engineer
Chip Davis   Arranger,Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes
Felix Bernard   Composer
David Cwirko   Engineer,Production Director
Ray Evans   Composer
Roxanne Layton   Engineer
Jay Livingston   Composer
Hank Neuberger   Engineer
John Richards   Engineer
Chris Sabold   Engineer
Dick Smith   Composer
Brian Ackley   Engineer,Production Director,Engineering
Jennifer Hersch   Art Direction
Louis Stout   Liner Notes,Orchestral Assistant
Noel Regney   Text
William Sandys   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Soli Deo Gloria Cantorum   Contributor
James R. Murray   Composer
Robert Burns   Composer
Dan Charette   Engineering
Richard B. Smith   Text
Dave Cwirko   Engineer
Alfred S. Burt   Composer

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Christmas Extraordinaire 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just got a prerelease copy of this CD, and I'm happy to say, Mannheim Steamroller still knows how to make great Christmas music. It's not their best effort (that honor still belongs to ''Fresh Aire Christmas'') but it's right up there. Chip Davis has done some of his most original workings of the carols since his first effort back in 1984. In some places, the originality goes a little too far, making the tune all but unrecognizable. But in most cases, it keeps things interesting and works very well. I'm sure my favorites will change over time, but for now, ''Hallelujah,'' ''Fum Fum Fum'' and ''Away In A Manger'' are the winners. If you own their previous album, ''Impressions,'' the rendition of ''Auld Lang Syne'' will sound familiar here, as only the instrumentation and the addition of a choir is different-- but it's still a great arrangement. Overall, I feel this is superior to there previous effort, ''Christmas in The Aire,'' though not quite up to the level of the first two. On a side note-- the production quality of this album is SUPERB. The clarity and dynamics are among the best of any CD in my collection. So why only four stars? The beginning half of the album may be a little slow for some, and with the exception of ''Hallelujah'' and ''Fum Fum Fum,'' there aren't any of those rock tracks we'd expect from a Steamroller Christmas album. Actually, I'd give it 4.5 if I could. Definitely recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just received a prerelease copy of this CD, and all I can say is WOW. This is Mannheim's fourth Christmas album (not counting the live album and the story album), and they haven't yet lost their touch. If anything, this album could well be the freshest since the original. Track by track, here's the rundown-- ''Hallelujah''-- The classic upbeat opener for the album. Typical Mannheim, nothing particularly new, but fun. May have benefitted from the use of a choir though. ''White Christmas''-- Jazzy chords, and a female choir make this an interesting arrangement, and it builds nicely from its keyboard intro to the fully orchestrated ending. ''Away In A Manger''-- soft, touching. A really simple arrangement of flute and guitar, accompanied by oboe and harpsichord. Works wonderfully. ''Faeries''-- It's Mannheim's take on ''Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairies.'' They don't do much with this one, but it still works well. One of the more synthetic-sounding tracks on the album. ''Do You Hear What I Hear''-- an odd, Copeland-esque arrangement. The traditional melody seems to get lost along the way, but it sounds great anyway. ''The First Noel''-- an attempt to redo ''Stille Nacht'' from the first album. Quite good, though not as good as that older song. ''Silver Bells''-- A fun piece, with the stress on the upbeat, giving it a somewhat reggae feel. ''Fum Fum Fum''-- The renaissance piece of the album. Really cool, and it builds to a lively dance. One of the album's best. ''Some Children See Him''-- A slow, nostalgic piece, played mainly on wind instruments. Nice. ''Winter Wonderland''-- The toe-tapper of the album. Nothing brilliant, but quite listenable. ''O Tannenbaum''-- Johnny Mathis? Yep, he's doing the vocals, along with the Michigan Men's Glee Club. ''Auld Lang Syne''-- If you own the ''Impressions'' album, you've heard this before, except the instrumentation is slightly different, and a choir provides the last verse. This is a great Christmas album for anyone who's enjoyed Mannheim Steamroller's previous albums. It's better than their last one, and almost as good as the first two. Recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have almost all of Chip's CD's but believe this is my favorite. I purchased it for a Christmas gift but could not give it away. It is the most relaxing, soothing of all his music.
Start the fireplace, get a nice drink and enjoy.
bobbyrobert More than 1 year ago
This is an addition to the Fans of Mannheim Steamroller. Enjoyable to listen to or give as a gift.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Do not waste your money here. Invest in a shrink if you are seriously considering purchasing this collection of foppery.