Monday, November 29, 2010

Ring Christmas Bells - Boris Brott, Hamilton Philharmonic

Earlier I mentioned a theme for 2010's posts, and now it's time to reveal that theme: Christmas Made in Canada! Yes, that's right, Hi-Fi Holiday is HQ'd in the Great White North. What better place in the world to celebrate the Yuletide season, where it's very cold outside, baby, for almost five months a year!

Kicking off Christmas Made in Canada! is Boris Brott conducting members of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra on Ring Christmas Bells. Where's Hamilton, you say? Well, it's in Southern Ontario, about 45 minutes ride from stunning Buffalo, NY. You could say Hamilton, ON is the Pittsburgh of Canada -- a hard-working, blue-collar, steel town that has of late fallen on some hard times. Considering these tough times and the current state the city is in, it's surprising Hamilton once supported a Philharmonic orchestra - however, Hamilton was once as cosmopolitan a city as any in the 1920s-1950s.

The group dubbed as the Hamilton Philharmonic playing Ring Christmas Bells is a smaller ensemble than the kind which traditionally churns out powerhouse arrangements of orchestral Christmas music, so the feeling here is distinctively intimate and very late 1970s, what with the addition of reverb in the album mix.


There are a couple of rare/original tracks here that help keep things interesting - "Huron Indian Call" and "Christmas Window".  Curiously, "Ring Christmas Bells" is also know as "Carol of the Bells", but the version of "Carol of the Bells" on this album is unfamiliar to me. Still, this is a nice slice of late '70s Canadiana, music from a land known as America's Hat. It's almost guaranteed you won't find this in a Salvation Army in Wisconsin.

Please enjoy: Ring Christmas Bells

12 comments:

  1. Ryan, I just finished listening to it and it sounds really nice.

    Thanks for a nice, clean share. Looking forward to more this season from you.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  2. What a great theme, looking forward to it!

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  3. NIce job, love your site. You have really captured what alot of us are looking for. Keep it up, from a fellow Canuck.

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  4. Hi! This Hamiltonian says thanks a million for such a lovely slice of Hammer history.

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  5. I was just expecting this to be a rarity but this is actually very good music!

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  6. It looks like "Huron Indian Call" is in reality the "Huron Indian Carol" and in French "Noël Huron".
    You can find the score here : http://www.mainewriter.com/share/Huron-Carol.pdf
    Nice of you to have posted this rare LP.
    Victor Roy

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  7. And I comb a lot of Salvation Armies in Wisconsin. Thanks for this one.

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  8. HAHA - King, I only say that because I hear Wisconsin has the best Salvation Army stores in the world, and I'm extremely jealous of that! Enjoy!

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  9. Wow, thanks for that link Victor. Fascinating stuff!

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  10. Great stuff, thanks! I hail from "stunning Buffalo, NY" so I am no stranger to the Hamilton scene. Very cool theme you've got going this year.

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  11. I just discovered your blog, and its everything I could hope for in a xmas music blog. +FOLO-HO-HO'd. ;)

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