Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album - (Import CD)


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  1. Collection
  2. Easy Listening
  3. Christmas
Mono / Stereo
Joseph S. Szurly (Compilation)
Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album

Includes liner notes by Joseph S. Szurly.
Personnel: Arthur Grumiaux (violin).
Liner Note Author: Joseph S. Szurly.
Directors: Georg Ratzinger; Uwe Christian Harrer; David Willcocks .
Though it may not intend to, with its title The Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album addresses one of the biggest paradoxes of the holiday season: ideally, it should be one of the most joyous and relaxing times of the year, but thanks to shopping for gifts, social obligations, and heightened expectations, too often the holidays become stressful instead of pleasant. This collection of soothing instrumental and choral holiday favorites aims to restore some serenity to the season, and on at least one level, it succeeds; the gentle renditions of "O Holy Night," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and "The Christmas Waltz" have soft, lush arrangements that are definitely relaxing. However, the arrangements skirt dangerously close to the sappy, string-laden territory of Mantovani, 101 Strings, and countless other easy listening instrumentalists, and the cutesy harp, piano, and xylophone flourishes on many of the tracks threaten to push the album into kitsch. Of course, the Christmas albums by Mantovani, 101 Strings, and the like were hugely popular, and this album's nod to those sweetly bland holiday releases of the past could be intentional, adding to the built-in nostalgia that the season evokes. In some ways, the retro feeling of The Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album is more refreshing -- and yes, relaxing -- than the new age-tinged holiday albums that may very likely sound nostalgic a few decades down the road. The purely choral selections are simpler and more dignified than most of the intstrumentals on the album, though a few of the orchestral tracks later in the album lose some of the more obvious easy listening tendencies. An ultra-traditional collection, The Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album could be either stuffy or comforting, depending on your taste in holiday music and, quite possibly, how much eggnog you've had. ~ Heather Phares

Country of Origin
Decca (USA)
Studio / Live
Various Artists
Songs / Tracks
  1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Christmas Bells - Mantovani
  2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Cantique de No‰l for voice & orchestra "O Holy Night" - Mantovani
  3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (for the film Meet Me in St. Louis) - London Festival Orchestra/Ronnie Aldrich
  4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] White Christmas, song (from "Holiday Inn") - Mantovani
  5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Christmas Waltz, The - London Festival Orchestra/Ronnie Aldrich
  6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Winter Wonderland - London Festival Orchestra/Ronnie Aldrich
  7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Mary's Little Boy Child, song - Mantovani Orchestra/Mantovani/The Sammes Chorus & Singers
  8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Christmas Song, The (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) - London Festival Orchestra/Ronnie Aldrich
  9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste fidelis) - Mantovani
  10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] What Child Is This? (Greensleeves) - Frank Chacksfield Orchestra
  11. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] Coventry Carol (2): "Lully, Lulla, Thou Little Tiny Child" - King's College Choir of Cambridge
  12. [ Disc 01 Track 12 ] Away in a manger (Tune: Cradle Song) (New English Hymnal 22) - Frank Chacksfield Orchestra
  13. [ Disc 01 Track 13 ] In dulci jubilo (Pi‘ Cantiones) - Bach Choir
  14. [ Disc 01 Track 14 ] Cantata No. 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," BWV 147 (BC A174): Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
  15. [ Disc 01 Track 15 ] Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming), for chorus - Regensburger Domspatzen
  16. [ Disc 01 Track 16 ] Ellens Gesang III ("Ave Maria"), song for voice & piano, D. 839 (Op. 52/6) - Istv n Hajdu
  17. [ Disc 01 Track 17 ] O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree) (German) - Vienna Boys' Choir
  18. [ Disc 01 Track 18 ] Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in F minor ("L'inverno," The Four Seasons; "Il cimento" No. 4), Op. 8/4, RV 297: Largo - Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields/Alan Loveday/Neville Marriner
  19. [ Disc 01 Track 19 ] Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (adapted by W. H. Cummings from Mendelssohn's Festgesang for the Gutenberg Festival) - Mantovani
  20. [ Disc 01 Track 20 ] I Saw Three Ships - Mantovani
  21. [ Disc 01 Track 21 ] Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), in six parts, BWV 248 (BC D7): Sinfonia - Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields (from "Christmas Oratorio")
  22. [ Disc 01 Track 22 ] Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht (Silent Night) - Mantovani Orchestra
  2. Various Artists
Universal Distribution
63m 15s
Video Disabled
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