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Under Western Skies/Christmas in High Fidelity

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
Orchestral conductor and composer George Melachrino scored only two Top 40 pop albums during his luminous and productive career -- 1954's holiday-themed Christmas in High Fidelity and the 1958 cowboy compilation Under Western Skies. Although they are ostensibly an incongruous pairing, Collectors' Choice Music has done just that, offering up a two-fer CD featuring both. The proliferation of Westerns in the early days of television was the spark that Melachrino needed to ignite his dozen-song tribute to the pioneering spirit of those who founded and settled the United States. He provides wonderful interpretations of Americana standards such as "Home on the Range" and "Cool...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
Orchestral conductor and composer George Melachrino scored only two Top 40 pop albums during his luminous and productive career -- 1954's holiday-themed Christmas in High Fidelity and the 1958 cowboy compilation Under Western Skies. Although they are ostensibly an incongruous pairing, Collectors' Choice Music has done just that, offering up a two-fer CD featuring both. The proliferation of Westerns in the early days of television was the spark that Melachrino needed to ignite his dozen-song tribute to the pioneering spirit of those who founded and settled the United States. He provides wonderful interpretations of Americana standards such as "Home on the Range" and "Cool Water," as well as the lesser-known mini-symphony "Colorado River" by British big band trombonist Lad Busby. Melachrino also provides the expansive and emotive "Northwest Trail" and the kitschy jazz ragtime paean "The One-Armed Bandit Nevada." The disparity of styles between those selections is an indication of his significant and often underappreciated talents as a writer. Other cuts worthy of mention on Under Western Skies are the animated "Riders in the Sky" and the evocative "Last Round-Up." Christmas in High Fidelity went all the way up to number ten in the weeks following Christmas of 1954. The music reflects a much simpler era, seemingly steeped in tradition that first-generation listeners may find themselves feeling particularly nostalgic for, upon hearing the chime of the church bells as they are incorporated into the tasteful arrangements of "Good King Wenceslas," "White Christmas," and "Adeste Fideles." He brings the same conservative approach to "The Skater's Waltz," "Fairy on the Christmas Tree," the conspicuously non-seasonal "Little Brown Jug," and another one of his own titles, "Once More It's Christmas." Enthusiasts who might recall either Under Western Skies or Christmas in High Fidelity from their youthful days will undoubtedly want to reacquaint themselves with these classics.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/19/1999
  • Label: Collector's Choice
  • UPC: 617742007527
  • Catalog Number: 75

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Home on the Range - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (3:19)
  2. 2 Wagon Wheels - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:39)
  3. 3 Riders in the Sky - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (3:25)
  4. 4 The Last Roundup - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:48)
  5. 5 Colorado River - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (4:35)
  6. 6 Cool Water - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (1:55)
  7. 7 Red River Valley - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (3:20)
  8. 8 Empty Saddles (2:40)
  9. 9 San Francisco - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (1:57)
  10. 10 Tumbling Tumbleweeds - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:30)
  11. 11 The One-Armed Bandit (Nevada) - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:37)
  12. 12 Northwest Trail - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (3:21)
  13. 13 Good King Wenceslas - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:33)
  14. 14 White Christmas - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:58)
  15. 15 Jingle Bells - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:29)
  16. 16 Little Brown Jug - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:10)
  17. 17 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:28)
  18. 18 Sleigh Ride - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (3:08)
  19. 19 Fairy on the Christmas Tree - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (1:47)
  20. 20 Adeste Fideles - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:45)
  21. 21 Silent Night - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:38)
  22. 22 Once More It's Christmas - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:27)
  23. 23 I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:09)
  24. 24 Mrs. Santa Claus - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:35)
  25. 25 The Skater's Waltz - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:48)
  26. 26 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (1:34)
  27. 27 The First Noel - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:43)
  28. 28 Winter Wonderland - George Melachrino & His Orchestra (2:33)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
George Melachrino Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Felix Mendelssohn Composer
Skip Ewing Composer
Franz Gruber Composer
Felix Bernard Composer
Dick Smith Composer
Charles Wesley Composer
Carl Cotner Composer
Joseph Mohr Composer
William Sandys Composer
John Mason Neale Composer
Traditional Composer
Joseph E. Winner Composer
James Pierpont Composer
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