If On a Winter's Night...

( 62 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's no secret that Sting is a serious man, so it's only logical that his holiday album -- his first new music since the Police reunion, not that it really matters -- is a serious endeavor, thank you. No niceties for him, no comforts of carols; he favors formal over familiar, writing madrigals, not ditties. The austerity here is genuine, not affected, and the cerebral nature of the album is gently fascinating.
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Note: Watch a video about If On a Winter's Night...

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's no secret that Sting is a serious man, so it's only logical that his holiday album -- his first new music since the Police reunion, not that it really matters -- is a serious endeavor, thank you. No niceties for him, no comforts of carols; he favors formal over familiar, writing madrigals, not ditties. The austerity here is genuine, not affected, and the cerebral nature of the album is gently fascinating.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/26/2009
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • UPC: 602527017433
  • Catalog Number: 001332902
  • Sales rank: 1,347

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sting Primary Artist, Guitar, Percussion, Lute, Vocals, Snare Drums
Kathryn Tickell Violin, Northumbrian Smallpipes
Jack DeJohnette Drums
David Sancious Organ
John Clark Horn
Lisa Fischer Vocals, Background Vocals
Cyro Baptista Percussion
Bashiri Johnson Percussion, Frame Drum
Chris Botti Trumpet
Ira Coleman Bass
Daniel Druckman Snare Drums
Kenny Garrett Soprano Saxophone
Chris Gekker Trumpet
Mary MacMaster Harp, Vocals
David Mansfield Dulcimer, Mandolin, 12-string Guitar, Mandocello
Dominic Miller Guitar
Dean Parks Guitar, Mandolin
Marcus Rojas Tuba
Robert Sadin Percussion, Conductor
Charles Curtis Cello
David Hartley Harmonium
Vincent Segal Cello
Chris Dudley Trombone
Bijan Chemirani Percussion
Bassam Saba Oud, Ney
Julian Sutton Melodeon
Daniel Freedman Percussion
Christopher Dudley Trombone
Joe Sumner Background Vocals
Ibrahim Maalouf Trumpet
Rhani Krija Percussion
Daniel Hope Violin
Daphna Mor Recorder
Webb Sisters Background Vocals
Edin Karamazov Lute
Melissa Meell Cello
Donald Hay Percussion
Dov Scheindlin Viola
John Ellis and His SDB Bass Clarinet
Musica Aeterna Orchestra Strings
Leslie Neish Tuba
Peter Tickell Violin
Svetlana Tsovena Violin
Stile Antico Vocal Ensemble
Jasmine Thomas Background Vocals
Melissa Meell Cello
Technical Credits
Michael Praetorius Composer
Henry Purcell Composer
Franz Schubert Composer
Peter Warlock Composer
Sting Arranger, Composer, Liner Notes, Adaptation
Dave Darlington Engineer
Clark Germain Engineer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Mary MacMaster Composer
Dominic Miller Composer
Tim Mitchell Engineer
Danny Quatrochi Guitar Techician
Robert Sadin Arranger, Soundscape
Noel Paul Stookey Composer
Todd Whitelock Engineer
Mark Wilder Mastering
Chris Wood Composer
Donal Hodgson Engineer
Theodore Baker translation
Robert Southwell Composer
Traditional Composer
Elena Mezzetti Composer
Kathryn Schenker Management
Tracy Bufferd Publicity
Lucy Maxwell Stewart Publicity
Tony Molina Cover Photo
Thomas Betterton Composer
John Dryden Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Cozy Setting For The Coldest Months Of Winter

    Sting's new release If On A Winter's Night is a product which truly exudes class and sophistication. The gathering of top notch players from the realms of folk, classical and jazz is absolutely stellar and impressive on its very own, but the unique arrangements of the chosen material is really what is crucial to the project's success. The production is so organic, so vibrant and clear that the listener could actually be given the feeling that these musicians are right there in the room.
    As for the chosen material, there are plenty of standouts. 'Soul Cake' is a jaunty rendition of the begging song A'Soalin, seemingly fusing together various elements of traditional Folk, Bluegrass, Irish jigs, and Jazz. The song also contains the first of many highlights provided by violinist Kathryn Tickell, whose presence is absolutely key to the Northern English ambience which exudes from this recording. The raucous fun of 'Soul Cake' is followed by Sting's first exhibition of his penchant for really interesting musical hybrids: The decision to place the slow and softly traditional 'There Is No Rose Of Such Virtue' on top of upbeat Arabian percussion, punctuated by the infectious tones of the oud and the insistent drone of the harmonium, creates a mesmerizing piece of musical alchemy. Another such unique fusion of styles comes later on the disc, a song called 'The Burning Babe', a piece built around an eerie bit of poetry by Robert Southwell. The music, written by Chris Wood, is an upbeat blend of Celtic music and Jazz performed in the odd time signature of 5/8. Standout contributions from legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette and saxophonist Kenny Garrett serve to take the proceedings up a notch with the fiery intensity usually inherent to Jazz fusion, and yet such a daring departure in texture doesn't sound out of place with the rest of the material.
    In my opinion, the brightest gem on this cd is 'Christmas At Sea', a Celtic inspired song featuring music written by Sting, lyrics adapted from the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson, and the enchanting Gaelic verse of 'Thograinn Thograinn' provided by vocalist/harpist Mary MacMaster. This captivating work is evocative of the numerous nautical themed classics that Sting has created over the years, and the result is probably the finest duet which Sting has ever been involved in creating. Other major highlights on the cd include Dominic Miller's patented guitar stylings on 'The Snow It Melts The Soonest', the haunting 'Balulalow', which sounds similar to Paul Simon at his finest, and the folky spiritual 'Cherry Tree Carol', where Sting shows his mildly bluesy facet. The disc ends with the elegance of 'You Only Cross My Mind In Winter', as Sting sets his own lyric to Johann Sebastian Bach's 6th Cello Suite performed on lute by Edin Karamazov.
    For much of the material, Sting either sings with a heavily affected accent or reaches deep down to sing in his lowest possible register. If one is already accustomed to his vocal stylings on the two previous Deutsche Grammaphon releases he took part in (those being Songs From The Labyrinth and Welcome To The Voice), then these vocal approaches should not come as any surprise. He sounds relaxed and soulful throughout and this seems entirely appropriate for the chosen music. It should be plain to any ear which is willing to hear that Sting intended to create an intimately cozy setting for those coldest months of Winter and he has succeeded admirably.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A thoughtful and beautiful judged winter album...

    Weaving through all the songs on Sting's latest album "If On A Winter's Night..." are the themes of winter, ghosts and spirits, religion and the pull of home back to loved and missed ones. The musicians and singers complement the songs impeccably - the Northumbrian pipes of Kathryn Tickell are so evocative of the the northeast and are an instant reminder to older fans of his classic 1991 album "The Soul Cages", an album that drew heavily on his roots. Standout tracks include "Christmas At Sea", a poem written by Robert Louis Stevenson that is combined with the gaelic song "Thograinn Thograinn" and provides one of the most evocative songs that Sting has recorded. "Soul Cake" is a very catchy song that is guaranteed to etch its way into your subconscious after the first listen and is the most immediate track on the album; "The Snow It Melts The Soonest" is a hauntingly beautiful northumbrian track; "The Burning Babe" contrasts a macabre tale with a jolly tune to great effect, and Sting combines his own lyrics to a piece of Bach on the melancholic "You Only Cross My Mind In Winter". Taken with traditional Christmas songs such as "Gabriel's Message" and the "Cherry Tree Carol", some reworkings of older songs such as "The Hounds of Winter" and "Lullaby To An Anxious Child", and more obscure pieces from centuries past such as "Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming" and "Now Winter Comes Slowly" means that Sting delivers a thoughtful and beautifully judged seasonally themed album without once having to mention reindeer, snowmen or Santa Claus.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Powerful

    This is one of Stings most fabulous CD. I loved it so much I had to share it with my parents so I bough one for them this Christmas. They listened to it all season and look forward to playing it next winter. I left it in my CD player in my car all winter and never tired of the powerful instrumentals and wonderful variety of joyful songs as well as devotional. Stings voice clarity offered depth to each song. Even the classics sounded new and different with the arrangements used within them. My husband borrowed the CD for his office for those late night drives back and I haven't seen it since then. I may need to buy another one next winter, just to have enough for our household.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Haunting

    In this collection, Sting's voice is true. Purchase this, and you'll have the perfect background music for a small gathering of friends around the fire, an evening of private time to sort thoughts, or to simply unwind after a day's work with a mug of your favorite beverage. I wouldn't file this CD in the holiday group...this can be enjoyed year 'round.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A step back in time...

    The music has a timeless honesty to it. The easy arrangements and straightforward vocals of these old folksongs make this a beautiful passage back to simpler times. These are not toe-tapping or jazzy modern arrangements that one normally associates with Sting. He is onto a new venue of sound that some will like and others not so much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Winter's Night Charms

    This disc helped me through the short, dark cold days and nights of December. It is joyous, calm, reverent music, perfect for snuggling up with. Sting succeeds.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    a genuine holiday CD

    when pop artists do a holiday (Xmas) CD the effort can be frightening (Dylan) or just curious - with styles ranging from icy (jazz) to rock 'n roll. Sting's CD is different. though it eschews specific holiday iconography, all of the songs fit together as examples of genuine winter/christmas music - the music that has been handed down in hymnals and song books, and enjoyed for decades.

    to those who find the music dreary - ok, its not for you. but listen to a clip or two. if you like the clips, buy the CD.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautiful CD for the wintry months

    What a wonderful CD this is. Lovely music with vocals befitting this time of year. Like a walk alone in the snowy forest, the wonder of it all appears around you in quiet ways. This CD is musical version of that experience. Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent!

    I love this CD; Perfect for the holidays.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Really enjoyed this cd!

    This Cd is really enjoyable. The quality of the music is excellent and it just fills you with a sense of joy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    complex and soothing

    This album shows great complexity. The music is soothing like fire on a cold winter's day.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Wonderful!

    What beautiful music on this CD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sting and Old English Carols

    As a classical musician - I love Sting's foray into the old English carol literature. I wish he was as clear in his articulation when singing the older texts as when singing the contemporary lyrics. His overall sound is brighter when he is putting forth the text instead of trying to create a "mood." The mystery is already in the music. However, it is a nice addition to my seasonal collection and I am glad I made the purchase.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Loved It

    I like Sting's arangements of these old songs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    disappointing

    This was a real disappointment. Most songs sounded like the last one and by the third one we were ready to change CD!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Stretch your thinking, stretch the season

    I love this CD! As a true Sting fan, the moment I saw this (I was standing in line in my local B & N store), I added it to my purchases without even reading the blurbs on the back, something I've never done before. I am also a fan of Christmas music; after all, it only comes once a year and has some very beautiful, classic music attached to it - glad to hear it go, glad when it comes around again. This CD is unlike any I have heard before. Most of the music is fresh to my ears, has an "unexpected Christmas sound," and Sting's wonderful voice. It is great before, during, and after Christmas - no "ho ho ho" here.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Nothing Like the True Sting!

    So disappointed in this CD. Very off track from all the other Sting CD's with his soleful voice and great band accompaniment. I can't say I even liked or cared for one song on this CD. It was not a joyful holiday album at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sting-If On A Winter's Night

    I love Sting. I love the risks he takes. I have a pretty large selection of Christmas music, mostly all traditional but some popular and have become quite a snob when it comes to Christmas music recorded by pop artists.

    Sting has managed to record some little known Christmas music and arranged it beautifully. He's hit a home run.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Pleasant, but somewhat of a let-down.

    Although I love Sting, this album was not as pleasurable as I had hoped. It's nice to hear old English and Celtic carols renewed, but only a couple of the songs really were to my liking.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Taking the Sting out of Winter

    Not the best performance by Sting

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews