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Classical Xmas
Classical Christmas
Classical Xmas
Genres: Special Interest, Soundtracks, Classical
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #4
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #5


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A joyful Christmas box of many rare musical jewels.
DJ Rix | NJ USA | 12/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Laserlight has the rights to so much recorded music - excellent, good, indifferent, bad - & of such varying sound quality, that it's difficult to rate the label's bargain compilations. Most are afflicted with "excerpt-itis," the "greatest hits" disease. However, some compiler with an interesting ear for the offbeat & a sense of humor put this fine five-CD Christmas box together. He or she did so by leaning on some less familiar music & by relying largely on good performances from ye olde East Germany ensembles & conductors, (as do Koch-Schwann & Berlin Classics labels, at higher prices).The #1 disk is a solid performance of The Nutcracker Suite (also issued as a single disk by Laserlight) by Peter Wohlert conducting the Berlin Symphony (not to be confused with the Berlin Philharmonic). With that over-cooked chestnut out of the way, this compilation gets interesting.We get some venerable excerpts of Bach cantatas, oratorios, motets & Lutheran hymns, performed by Fidicinia Capella, New Leipzig Bach Collegium Musicum, & the German Bach Soloists, all respectable ensembles. Edita Gruberova even joins in "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen." Plus an earful of grand organ preludes. Handel is represented by a happy section of "Water Music" & a piece for brass instruments from his oratorio, "Judas Maccabaeus." What, no "Halleluah Chorus?" Believe me, you don't need it! But it's here all the same. Mozart checks in with the lovely, too brief, "Ave verum Corpus," motet for chorus, strings, & organ, K. 618. We also get snappy, dutiful baroque contributions from Vivaldi, Corelli & Purcell. The remainder of the set is filled out with music from: Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky; Francesco Onofrio Manfredini; Johann Ludwig Krebs; George Friedrich Kauffmann; John the Elder Alcock; Michel Corrette; Michael Praetorius; Johann David Heinichen; Johann Heinrich Schmelzer; & Giuseppe Torelli. The inclusion of these marvelous obscurities pushes this bargain compilation over the top. I give it four stars because the performances & sound quality vary considerably. But the compensation comes from hours of joyously felt Nativity music, a good deal of it unfamiliar yet beautiful all the same. Load all five into the CD changer, hit the random button, relax & enjoy your spiced eggnog with family & friends.The five CDs are titled: 1. The Nutcracker 2. Classical Christmas 3. Christmas Music for Trumpet & Organ 4. Johann Sebastian Bach - Christmas Music 5. Baroque Christmas Music. They can be purchased individually."