Monday, November 29, 2010
Ring Christmas Bells - Boris Brott, Hamilton Philharmonic
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