Christmas Portrait

( 8 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
The Carpenters were just about the last adult pop outfit of their era with anything resembling rock credibility (they did have a little of the latter in the early days, and weren't a kid act like the Osmonds) who could have pulled off a straight Christmas album. And they did it in superb style here, illuminated throughout by the delightful, complex, often playful arrangements, courtesy of Peter Knight, Richard Carpenter, and Billy May. Actually, for a change on a Carpenters album, Richard is the dominant personality on display across this record, as both co-arranger and producer, as well as the mastermind behind the project; Karen Carpenter's voice is also prominent, to be ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
The Carpenters were just about the last adult pop outfit of their era with anything resembling rock credibility (they did have a little of the latter in the early days, and weren't a kid act like the Osmonds) who could have pulled off a straight Christmas album. And they did it in superb style here, illuminated throughout by the delightful, complex, often playful arrangements, courtesy of Peter Knight, Richard Carpenter, and Billy May. Actually, for a change on a Carpenters album, Richard is the dominant personality on display across this record, as both co-arranger and producer, as well as the mastermind behind the project; Karen Carpenter's voice is also prominent, to be sure, most notably on "Merry Christmas, Darling" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and she threw herself into this next-to-last completed project (and their final release before a two-year hiatus), but it's Richard who comes to the fore everywhere here, in ways that are impossible to ignore. And the results are mightily impressive, as the mood never slackens in what amounts to a wall-to-wall celebration of the Christmas holiday. After a suitably festive introductory section, Karen Carpenter's solo voice comes up on the "Christmas Waltz" and the proceedings really take off, carrying us into the most engaging rendition of Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride" that has come down in many a year, and it only gets better from there, through a brace of holiday staples that end up sounding fresh in her voice and his arrangements. There's not a slack moment on this album, which is also, curiously, one of the few Carpenters' albums that managed to sound good in every CD edition so far released on it (most of the others needed to be upgraded).
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/25/1990
  • Label: A&M
  • UPC: 075021517325
  • Catalog Number: 5173
  • Sales rank: 63,238

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Carpenters Primary Artist
Pete Jolly Keyboards
Richard Carpenter Keyboards, Vocals
Karen Carpenter Vocals
English Chorale Background Vocals
Skaila Kanga Harp
Bob Messenger Tenor Saxophone
Barry Morgan Drums
Peter Morgan Bass
Cubby O'Brien Drums
Dorothy Remsen Harp
Ron Tutt Drums
Gayle Levant Harp
O.K. Chorale Vocals, Background Vocals
Pete Morgan Upright Bass
Joe Osborn Electric Bass
Technical Credits
Adolphe Adam Composer
Charles Gounod Adaptation
Franz Schubert Composer
Peter Knight Adaptation
Billy May Arranger
Richard Carpenter Producer
Buck Ram Composer
Franz Gruber Composer
Arnie Acosta Mastering
Jack Daugherty Producer
Kim Gannon Composer
Ray Gerhardt Engineer
Walter Kent Composer
Nick Perito Arranger
John Richards Engineer
Eric Tomlinson Engineer
Roger Young Engineer
Tim Bryant Art Direction
Richard Storrs Willis Composer
Joseph Mohr Composer
Edmund Hamilton Sears Composer
Howlett Peter Smith Composer
John Sullivan Dwight Composer
Pietro Yon Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 25, 2010

    not the original version?

    The 1978 vinyl LP of this album did not begin with "Midnight Clear," but with "O Come O Come Emanuel" and the "Deck the Halls" medley. To get that (what I believe to be the actual) original version, you must buy the double CD set, "Christmas Collection," for rather more money. Then the original album is disk 1.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best Ever

    This collection of holiday music set the standard for Christmas albums/cd's that followed. Undoubtedly the best ever.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A True Must Have Holiday Standard

    You don't have to be a big fan of the Carpenters to appreciate this collection, just a fan of Holiday music. If you were stranded on the North Pole and could only have one Holiday CD to listen to, this would be the one. I've yet to have someone listen to this CD without falling in love with it. It contains more than 60 minutes of traditional Holiday classics that show case the amazing talent of singer Karen Carpenter. <BR/><BR/>One listen and I'm sure you will agree that her readings are flawless and that her voice is perfectly suited to capture the nuiances and spirit of the many Holiday songs contained in this delightful package. Ballads such as Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Little Alter Boy showcase her "chill factor" marvalous lower register, while songs like Sleigh Ride and Winter Wonderland radiate with the fun and excitement that are so representative of the Season. <BR/><BR/>This CD is great for any and all family gatherings because it bridges generations and appeals to almost all sensibilities. You won't be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Well worth it for a few of these selections

    I, too, had this "album" as a child, and for boomers, this is a must have (we've had it in cassette, and it's disappeared over the years). As on all Christmas CDs by popular artists, this one has some duds, but really worth it for a number of these songs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    THE BEST CHRISTMAS CD OUT THERE!!

    I have had this since I was a child and I will pass it down to my children. It is the most beautiful take on all of the Holiday classics and other songs. Karen Carpenters range is incredible and well heard throughout this whole cd. Don't think, just buy!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews