Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Christmas Album - Paul Mauriat

Regretfully I've been so busy with work that I haven't had the opportunity to post as many albums as I'd like before Christmas. So I'm going to add one today - Paul Mauriat's The Christmas Album - and one tomorrow to make up for it.

This is a top-notch offering from Mauriat, for full orchestra and wordless chorus. There's the old favourites here: "Jingle Bells", "White Christmas", "Silent Night", plus lesser-known titles like "Entre Le Boeuf Et L'Ane Gris" (aka "Among The Cattle and The Grey Donkey" - a Mauriat original?) and "Il est ne Le Divin Enfant" ("The Divine Infant Is Born"). All arranged and performed for maximum festive impact!

This album was re-issued on CD in a less complete form. That CD is now out-of-print. (and note: argh! "Trois Anges Sont Venus" ("Three Angels Appeared") plays twice in this file - once right after "White Christmas", so they're the same MP3 file. Quality control has been fired for this!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Shell's Wonderful World of Music - Longines Symphonette Society

A double-LP set deserves a long title, and this one has one! This is Shell's Wonderful World of Music: Special Christmas Edition by the Longines Symphonette Society. According to Wikipedia, The Longines Symphonette Society was a record label created by the watch company Longines. Makes perfect sense.

Here are 20 carols performed in the wholly inoffensive choral/orchestral tradition ("Little Drummer Boy", "White Christmas" are highlights), with arrangements that are clean and straightforward. This is great background listening for Christmas gatherings where you don't want bombastic, jazzy or swinging variations to overload your celebratory subconcious.