Category: Christmas

  • Erik Simmons: How Great our Joy! Organ music for Christmas by Carson Cooman

    This is not a Christmas album. This is Christmas music played on a church organ, a different thing altogether. If you want a bland album of festive music, this is not for you. If you already like the organ then, as Carson Cooman undoubtedly says in his day-job as composer-in-residence at the Memorial Church, Harvard […]

  • Georg Philipp Telemann: Michaelis Oratorium

    This review is a little late but hopefully someone who wants festive music that’s not too heavy or cliched will find it ideal. It’s the music for the opening of St Michael’s Church, Hamburg, in 1762, which was destroyed by fire in 1760. It was a big ceremony and of course Telemann, Hamburg’s director of […]

  • The Overtones: The Overtones

    All we can do with this is say it’s out: it is what it is. We’re guessing the target audience is older women, the inclusion of Rockin’ Robin, a hit in either 1958 (original version) or ‘72 (Michael Jackson) indicating a more mature audience. The sleeve notes write that the music is aimed at people […]

  • Bavarian Radio Chorus: Joy to the World (Famous Christmas Songs)

    The title gives it all away — the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Choir to you post-Brexit Britishers) sings popular Christmas songs. It’s not Christmas carols, it’s Christmas songs and there’s a nice selection. The sound is lush and big budget, and it’s warming and comforting, like a National Trust shop. It put us […]

  • Cher: Dancing Queen

    If you’re stuck for Xmas presents or even music for your Xmas party, Cher has obliged. Abba wrote some of the best pop tunes in history, Cher is, well, Cher. She knows what’s going to work and she doesn’t muck about much with the songs, so Abba fans — which is basically everyone, in the […]

  • Georg Telemann: Christmas Oratorios

    This is proper Christmas music, all trumpets, the sound of angels — or at least a heavenly chorus and — and proper singers. Telemann was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Despite being self-taught, he ended up in Hamburg as musical director of the five main churches. He was a friend to JS Bach, who […]

  • Yaniv d’Or: Exaltation

    We went to a wedding in Turkey the other weekend — as you do — and then spent a week listening to Tatar music, with artists from Mongolia down to Poland. And all the time we were hunting out exotic sounds we had this on the desk. It’s a programme of music from Medieval and […]

  • New Vic: Wind In The Willows

    The latest Christmas production at the New Vic, Newcastle, is a re-telling of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows — 110 years old this year — the tale of anthropomorphised animals in a pastoral version of ye olde England as progress, in the form of motor cars, arrives. It’s the best Christmas show the […]

  • Engelbert Humperdinck: Warmest Christmas Wishes

    Hump’s first Christmas album in almost 40 years (since A Merry Christmas With Engelbert Humperdinck, but you knew that) is so sweet it’ll make the brandy butter taste as bitter as the tears of Bambi’s mother. His last album The Man I Want to Be was pretty good (it’s Engelbert Humperdinck, we’ll never play it […]

  • Cilia Petridou: The Mystery of Christmas Greek Kalanda (carols)

    This is a collection of songs for the festive season although, as it doesn’t sound “festive”, you get year-round value. The lyrics are Christmas-related but sung in Greek (translations provided). The sleeve/Press notes say that there is a tradition among the Greek people of the singing of carols (kalanda) on Christmas Eve. The notes reference […]