Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|George Frederick Handel, Christmas Traditional, Irving Berlin|
Signature Series: Hometown Christmas 1
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks, Classical
Great start and finish..the in between tracks are variable
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 09/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Back in 1963 Readers Digest issued a Christmas album that blasted every other Christmas record out of the water. And I mean blasted. With spectacular arrangements by Charles Gerhardt, the 4 record set covered traditional carols, popular Christmas songs arranged into a sparkling orchestral suite, a selection of ten German carols as well as ten French carols, a suite of carols arranged for Brass, organ and carillon, and collection of highlights from Handel's MESSIAH. Four (4) Lp records for $7.99 ($1 more if you wanted stereo.) The album was titled JOYOUS MUSIC FOR CHRISTMAS TIME, and indeed it was a joyous album from first to last.
This album eventually sold over a million copies and can still be found for sale in used record stores and on E-bay - usually the copies are well worn from having been played so often.
Sadly RD has not seen fit to transfer the entire program to CD.
Instead collectors must track down the material scattered over several CD's released by RD and some released by Sony Music Special Products.
This CD presents the original opening and closing tracks from the album ("Joy to The World" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing") both introduced by a spectacular fanfare that helps bookend the collection. (Of course originally if you played through all 4 LPs the bookend would be nearly 3 hours apart!)
There is also a Volume Two of this disc available separately containg several more tracks from the original album.
The tracks here from the original collection include the opening two selections ("Joy To The World"; "O Little Town of Bethlehem") and the final two ("It Came Upon a Midnight clear" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.") These are all spectacular!
The rest of the disc is variable. There are other digest tracks featuring The Ambosian Singers ("O Christmas Tree", "What Child is This?" and "Silent Night" although the last track is mis-identified: It is listed as being performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Peter Knight. Though Knight DID record this carol, the version here is by The Ambrosian Singers.)
The rest of the disc ranges from pleasant ("Ding Dong Merrily on High", "The First Noel") to tracks that are just in the wrong style for this collection (Lynn Anderson's "White Christmas", The Stylistics' "Sweet Little Jesus Boy") to downright awful (ANY track by the Fireside Singers!)
Those in search of the rest of JMFCT here is how you can assemble most of it:
(Record One, Side One): Carols for Chorus (with the Royal Philharmonic conducted by Peter Knight)
"Joy to the World" & "O Little Town of Bethlehem" from this CD.
"Deck The Halls" & "Away in a Manager" from Volume Two of this CD.
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" & "Angels We Have Heard on High" from the RD 3-CD collection CHRISTMAS THROUGH THE YEARS. You can also obtain all 6 selection from the Sony Special Products CD called JOYOUS CHRISTMAS.
(Record Two, Side One):
Richard Benson's CHRISTMAS SUITE FOR ORCHESTRA from the RD 3-CD set JOY TO THE WORLD (released in 1994)
(Record Four Side One):
German Carols - not available on CD.
(Record Three; Side One and Two)
Highlight's from Handel's MESSIAH on the Sony Special Products CD titled REJOICE! MESSIAH HIGHLIGHTS
(Record Four Side Two):
French Carols - not available on CD.
(Record Two; Side Two): Carols for Organ and Bells featuring Leslie Pearson, organ; The Westminster Brass; The London Bell ringers; and John Paice, carillon.
The First Noel - available on O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL from Sony Special Products
Good King Wenceslas - available in the RD 3-CD set THE JOY OF CHRISTMAS
Ave Maria, O Come O Come Emmanuel & Christmas is Coming can be found on YULETIDE CLASSICS from Sony Special Products
Carol of the Bells is on the RD 3-CD set JOY TO THE WORLD mentioned above. It can also be found on the RD CD called REFLECTIONS: O HOLY NIGHT.
(Record One; Side Two): Carols For Chorus (with the Royal Philharmonic conducted by Peter Knight)
"O Come All Ye Faithful" - from Volume Two of this CD
"We Three Kings" & "The 12 Days of Christmas " from the RD 3-CD collection CHRISTMAS THROUGH THE YEARS (mentioned above.)
"O Holy Night" from Volume Two of this CD
"It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" & "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" from this CD.