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Ultimate Classical Christmas

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Sony's 2007 holiday offering The Ultimate Classical Christmas presents a highly varied program of traditional carols and modern seasonal songs that serves equally well as a sampler of the label's biggest stars, including soprano Kathleen Battle, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, tenors Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, and José Carreras, violinist Joshua Bell, and guitarist John Williams, among many other artists. Aside from the usual problem of calling any album the "ultimate" of anything -- what will Sony do for a sequel? -- one may quibble instead with the loose way the term classical is used. When Charlotte Church opens with "Ding Dong! Merrily on High" in a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Sony's 2007 holiday offering The Ultimate Classical Christmas presents a highly varied program of traditional carols and modern seasonal songs that serves equally well as a sampler of the label's biggest stars, including soprano Kathleen Battle, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, tenors Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, and José Carreras, violinist Joshua Bell, and guitarist John Williams, among many other artists. Aside from the usual problem of calling any album the "ultimate" of anything -- what will Sony do for a sequel? -- one may quibble instead with the loose way the term classical is used. When Charlotte Church opens with "Ding Dong! Merrily on High" in a manic Broadway arrangement, and the Wynton Marsalis Septet delivers "Joy to the World" and "Winter Wonderland" as breezy jazz numbers, it becomes apparent that very little here is classical in the strictest sense. Indeed, Sony's classical performers cover all the stylistic bases, so a little bit of everything is here, from a Baroque rendition of Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" to a lounge medley of "The Christmas Song" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Thankfully, there is only one novelty selection, the Bach/Gounod "Ave Maria" performed by Bobby McFerrin and Yo-Yo Ma. Domingo and pop crooner Michael Bolton provide the only cheesy arena anthem, "Children of Christmas." The choppy, "variety show" feeling of this CD may make it hard to play as background music at parties, but it is mitigated by the recurrence of several of the afore-mentioned singers, and the mood is consistently festive throughout, so fans of light vocal music may appreciate this album more than others.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/23/2007
  • Label: Sony Classics
  • UPC: 886971433227
  • Catalog Number: 714332
  • Sales rank: 22,385

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ding Dong! Merrily on High (French) - Sîan Edwards & Christmas Traditional (2:20)
  2. 2 O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste fidelis) - John Francis Wade & Vienna Symphony Orchestra (2:41)
  3. 3 Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming), for chorus - Michael Praetorius & André Previn (4:05)
  4. 4 Joy to the World (theme by Handel) - George Frideric Handel & Roxanne Slimak (2:41)
  5. 5 Ave Maria, for voice & piano (after Bach's Prelude No. 1 from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1) - Bobby McFerrin & Charles Gounod (2:40)
  6. 6 Ellens Gesang III ("Ave Maria"), song for voice & piano, D. 839 (Op. 52/6) - Franz Schubert & Joshua Bell (4:41)
  7. 7 Gésu Bambino - Pietro Yon & Vienna Symphony Orchestra (3:31)
  8. 8 Cantata No. 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," BWV 147 (BC A174): Jesus, Bleibet Meine Freude (Jesu, Joy of Man's De - Johann Sebastian Bach & Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (2:43)
  9. 9 Villancico de Navidad, for guitar - Agustín Barrios-Mangoré & Roxanne Slimak (3:09)
  10. 10 Winter Wonderland - Felix Bernard & Roxanne Slimak (2:48)
  11. 11 Work(s): Medley: The Christmas Song / Have Yourself A Merry - Various Composers & André Previn (4:47)
  12. 12 Cantique de Noel for voice & orchestra, "O Holy Night" - Adolphe Adam & Vienna Symphony Orchestra (3:55)
  13. 13 O du fröhliche, o du selige, gnadenbringende Weihnachtszeit, carol (tune "O Sanctissima") - Christmas Traditional & Eugene Ormandy (3:30)
  14. 14 Children of Christmas - Plácido Domingo & Vienna Symphony Orchestra (3:56)
  15. 15 Maria Wiegenlied (Mary's Lullaby: "Maria sitzt am Rosenhag"), song for voice & piano (or orchestra), Op. 76/52 - Max Reger & André Previn (2:05)
  16. 16 Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht (Silent Night) - Franz Gruber & Columbia Symphony Orchestra (3:35)
  17. 17 Exsultate, jubilate, motet for soprano & orchestra, K. 165 (K. 158a): Alleluja - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart & André Previn (2:35)
  18. 18 We Wish You a Merry Christmas (English) - John Williams [composer] & Christmas Traditional (1:54)
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