Ultimate Classical Christmas

Ultimate Classical Christmas

CD

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Overview

Ultimate Classical Christmas

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/23/2007
Label: Sony Classics
UPC: 0886971433227
catalogNumber: 714332
Rank: 5219

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