Ph.d. N. from GLEN RIDGE, NJ Reviewed on 9/13/2014...
This is the best of the best in Christmas music by a Brass Ensemble. If you love brass and enjoy traditional Christmas music, you must have this album. Here is a list of the arrangements on this CD: TRACK ONE: Deck the Halls, Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming, Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella, The First Noel, Angels We Have Heard on High, We Three Kings of Orient Are, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Sanctissima, O Tannenbaum, O Come O Come Emmanuel, Good King Wenceslas, Silent Night Holy Night, Joy to the World; TRACK TWO: The Twelve Days of Christmas, Coventry Carol, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, Good Christian Men Rejoice, O Holy Night, What Child Is This?, Wassail Song, O little Town of Bethlehem, Away in a Manger, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. For our family, Christmas would not be complete without listening to this album during the Christmas season.
The Standard For Christmas Brass Music
Timothy Kearney | Hull, MA United States | 12/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection is over thirty years old and it sets the standard for Christmas brass music. It would be my guess that many of people who already own this disc first purchased it as an LP. Others will purchase the disc because their parents and grandparents owned the disc and it has become a holiday musical tradition. Over the years it has been one of Columbia's best selling albums and listeners will easily understand why. Listeners will almost feel as if the Salvation Army Band is right outside serenading Christmas shoppers. Listeners will quickly discover that many of the tracks of this collection are familiar from radio play. Probably the most creative and perhaps best known arrangements are the group's version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." You cannot go wrong purchasing this disc."
Christmas Brass at It's Best
F. Adcock | Silsbee, Texas United States | 11/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like to listen to the Salvation Army Band on a cold, wintry evening on a city street corner at Christmas (and who doesn't?), then this outstanding selection of Yuletide favorites is for you. The ensemble obviously enjoyed these recording sessions, for the playing is topnotch, without even the slightest suggestion of routine. The sound is also impressive, given the recording comes from the late 1960's. Most of the selections last less than two minutes, so the music never outstays its welcome. Highly recommended!"
Brassman123 | New Jersey, USA | 01/10/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Several raters have complained about the lack of a listing of the performers on this disc. The Philadelphia Brass Ensemble was nothing more than the principal and second players of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Perhaps "nothing more" is not the best way to describe this as the performers were, at the time, some of the best players in the US. Gilbert Johnson (trumpet) was considered (until his death from cancer a few years ago) one of the finest trumpeters to ever have played in a symphony orchestra. When I was growing up, Henry Charles Smith (trombone) was the model we all looked up to for how a orchestral principal trombone should sound. He was the Joseph Alessi of the time. The same could be said for Mason Jones (french horn) and Abe Torchinsky (tuba). All of these players had students who are playing in major symphony orchestras around the world and continue to inspire future performers through their many recordings. To my knowlege, the performers are:
Gilbert Johnson (Trumpet) Seymour Rosenfeld (Trumpet) Mason Jones (French Horn) Henry Charles Smith (Trombone) Tyrone Breuninger (Trombone) M. Dee Stewart (Euphonium) Abe Torchinsky (Tuba)
A True Christmas Classic
Gavin M. Lendt | Lawrence, KS USA | 11/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What makes this recording so good is its simplicity. Most the the arrangements in this CD are direct transcriptions of the original vocal carols. The Brass color is perfectly blended with the textures and harmonies of each piece giving them a pure "Christmas Sound." The Philadelphia Brass Ensemble has done and excellent job with the rendering of these carols. It was truly a blessing when this recording was finally put on CD! Andrew Kazdin's arrangement of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is a classic and one of the best versions around.A Must for all Brass Players!"