Re-cycled, but still glorious
Matthew Spady | New York, NY | 11/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This Christmas potpourri is a repackaging of several previously released albums that creates the effect of a magnificent Christmas concert featuring some of the world's greatest singers and choirs accompanied by first class conductors and orchestras. It is in fact a historical performance since most of these carols were recorded before 1990; indeed, quite a few of them date from the early 1960's. By the time this album was released, in 1997, several of the soloists had retired (and at least one of those who hadn't, and who will remain nameless, should have) and at least one of the conductors had died. To have called this album the Magic of Christmas Past would not have been overstating the case. Of course, recycled or not, it is still magical.To be fair, this repackaged concert does have its benefits. Although it presents a little of everyone and not a lot of anyone; it functions as a preview for other CDs. If the listener really want to hear more from any particular performer, he can have more by purchasing that performer's solo CD (most are still available).The selections here seem to be made with an eye to creating a balanced concert on this CD and do not necessarily represent the performers' best work on the CD's from which this one was compiled. E.g., Tebaldi's "Wiegenlied", while introspective and tender, is also woefully under pitch whereas other cuts from her Christmas CD are better in tune and display the distinctive Tebaldi tone more beautifully. Tebaldi and Sutherland both recorded versions of O Come, All Ye Faithful that are more thrilling that the presented by the Bach Choir on this CD. And, we must make do here with only one contribution each from Pavorotti and Leontyne Price. However, perhaps this is quibbling. Played from beginning to end, this is a nicely balanced concert guaranteed to put holiday spirit into even the most inveterate Scrooge."
Number One Christmas cd for me!!
Matthew Spady | 12/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, the sound quality is excellent. In addition, I love the combination of great choruses and choirs with great operatic voices mixed in; I don't like an entire cd with all the same singers. I also love the choices of carols! The little fanfare and opening and closing make the entire thing like a concert. I love this cd so much I bought a second copy in case something happens to the first!!"