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Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra & VA - Christmastime Is Here (2006)

Posted By: Designol
Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra & VA - Christmastime Is Here (2006)

Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra - Christmastime Is Here (2006)
Indiana University Singing Hoosiers, School for Creative and Performing Arts Chorale
King's Singers, Ann Hampton Callaway, Tony Desare, Tierney Sutton, John Pizzarelli

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 308 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 139 Mb
Label: Telarc | # CD-80538 | Time: 00:58:06 | Scans included
Holidays, Christmas, Orchestral, Choral, Easy Listening, Vocal Jazz

Dubbed the "Prince of Pops" by the Chicago Tribune nearly 30 years ago, Erich Kunzel – one of the most successful classical crossover artists of all time – has recorded over 70 albums for Telarc; one of the most popular of those is 1990s Christmas with the Pops. The warm and wonderful Christmastime Is Here, named for the Vince Guaraldi classic from A Charlie Brown Christmas that's given a spirited reworking here, is something of a sequel to that collection. With the exception of a punchy Dixieland arrangement of "Jingle Bell Rock," Kunzel and the orchestra – working with the Indiana University School of Music Singing Hoosiers, under the direction of Dr. Michael Schwartzkopf – play most of the classics here very straightforwardly. That is to say, charming, elegant and engaging, just not overly innovative. Telarc's true stroke of genius is having some of its top jazz vocalists perform on lush but smartly restrained arrangements of various classics – like Tierney Sutton on "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and John Pizzarelli on "Silver Bells." The disc also showcases two of the label's newest artists, Ann Hampton Callaway (a haunting "I Wonder as I Wander") and Tony DeSare (doing Mel Tormé proud on a dreamy version of "The Christmas Song"). This is 2006's premier holiday disc for lovers of jazz, pop and classical music.

King's Singers - Christmas (2003)

Posted By: Designol
King's Singers - Christmas (2003)

King's Singers - Christmas (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 260 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 165 Mb | Scans included
Classical, Choral, Holidays | Label: Signum Records | # SIGCD502 | 01:10:47

Five centuries, seven languages, and six singers with 35 years of remarkable experience inform this rare collection of choral music. In the world-renowned King's Singers resplendent voices, ancient and modern choral music comes to life with all the blazing immediacy and timeliness of the gospel of the nativity. With 25 pieces of music–ranging from familiar works such as "Coventry Carol" to the obscure Tchaikovsky piece "The Crown of Roses"–the King's Singers move through this hallowed and festive set with the vocal mastery that only three-and-a-half decades of accomplished work together is capable of creating. A number of contemporary carols written in the last century by composers such as John McCabe, Philip Lawson, John Rutter, and others are balanced by pieces by Bach and a host of traditional works. Lawson's "You Are the New Day," performed with a string quartet, stands out as one of the more notable performances. Like most of their music throughout Christmas, it reminds listeners that the art of music often interprets divine aspects gladly realized here on Earth.