Search - André Kostelanetz, New York Brass & Percussion Ensemble, E. Power Biggs :: A Christmas Festival

A Christmas Festival
André Kostelanetz, New York Brass & Percussion Ensemble, E. Power Biggs
A Christmas Festival
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (26) - Disc #1

This disc recycles two different but complementary LP recordings, the first being a 1968 outing with the Gregg Smith Singers, the New York Brass and Percussion Ensemble, and organist E. Power Biggs, the second being a 1965...  more »

      
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This disc recycles two different but complementary LP recordings, the first being a 1968 outing with the Gregg Smith Singers, the New York Brass and Percussion Ensemble, and organist E. Power Biggs, the second being a 1965 recording with André Kostelanetz and his Orchestra. Though the repertoire for both is fairly traditional carols, they make for strange listening now. The Gregg Smith Singers selections are often straightforward, except when Biggs's gimmicky organ intervenes with all sorts of effects that are deployed with the artistry of Fourth of July fireworks. Did we ever mistake Biggs for a musician? Kostelanetz's ultra-busy orchestrations are almost comically souped up with cushy strings, ringing brass, and more harps than you'd ever want to hear. One saving grace is the underrecorded soprano Phyllis Curtin, who sings a lovely version of "O Holy Night." Also on hand is the St. Kilian Boy Choir, which has an unusually robust sound. --David Patrick Stearns

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CD Reviews

A Bright & Joyous Christmas Concert !
Richard B Snyder | Kent, WA USA | 05/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a wonderful Christmas anthology, with legendary performers, a bright little pipe organ, and a sparkling small brass ensemble. In many other Christmas albums, huge choirs and orchestras overwhelm the listener; here the 2 small choirs & their accompaniment are in perfect balance. With excellent clarity and timing, the songs are crisp and delightful! They bring back the joy & idealism of Christmas that I loved as a child. The second half of the CD features a small orchestra, a delightful children's choir, & a wonderful soprano, again all in perfect balance and sharpness. The bright arrangements and clear performances make this a memorable Christmas recording!"