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A Winter Solstice Reunion


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Audio CD, August 11, 1998
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A Winter Solstice Reunion + Winter's Solstice: Silver Anniversary Edition + A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 11, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: August 11, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Windham Hill Records
  • ASIN: B000007O8F
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,076 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Keiki's Dream (Child's Dream)
2. I Saw Three Ships
3. Babe Is Born/Enter The Stable Gently
4. Snowfall Lullaby
5. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
6. Impending Death Of The Virgin Spirit
7. La Nit De Nadal (Christmas Night)/El Noi De La Mare (Son Of Mary)
8. Dreamtime
9. Year's End
10. Song Before Spring
11. What Are The Signs
12. Rain Into Snow
13. 20\xB0 Below
14. Christmas Wish

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A Winter Solstice Reunion by Various

This product is manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.

Amazon.com

You know this winter "reunion" is going to be a good one when Hawaiian slack-key guitar great Keola Beamer opens it with a stunning original, "Keiki's Dream." Reassembling the artists who defined the Windham Hill sound, Reunion features pianist Liz Story arranging the Spanish traditional "Babe Is Born" for solo piano, Windham vet Alex DeGrassi bringing his graceful acoustic guitar work to bear on "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," and capo William Ackermann rolling out his trademark steel-string arpeggios on a pensive, minor-key original, "Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit." The man who put Windham Hill on the map, pianist George Winston, contributes a lovely reading of Alfred Burt's "What Are the Signs," and fretless bass wonder Michael Manring tickles the ivories as well as bass on a circumspect "Year's End." More about the symbolism of the winter season than the joy of Christmas, Reunion is classic Windham Hill, meditative and a bit melancholy. Also features Mike Marshall, Ben Verdery, Paul McCandless, and others. --James Rotondi

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Indigo the Ent Wife on November 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is the best of the Winter Solstice series. It contains music for the Christmas holidays, as well as tunes for the winter season. The mood is introspective, yet celebratory throughout. This disc has one of my favorite contempory Christmas songs, A Christmas Wish by Tuck and Patty. (My other favorite is Christmas Bells by John Gorka on Winter Solstice III and a Putamayo Christmas). If you can only get one of the Solstice CDs, I recommend this one. Otherwise buy this one with numbers III V and VI.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By T. McEntee on November 30, 2011
Format: Audio CD
The fine artists & music on this recording have been done a great disservice: the packaging is terrible. Originally released in 1998, this recording is part of Sony/BMG's "Legacy" reissue line; the booklet is maddeningly generic. NO artist information at all -- meaning, you have absolutely no idea who performs which piece & why, or even the track times. (You do, however, get two self-congratulatory paragraphs of Legacy praising themselves.)

So then, here are the tracks & performers (according to Discogs), approximately 61 minutes total:

1. Keiki's Dream (Child's Dream) - Keola Beamer / 3:15 (solo slack-key guitar)
2. I Saw Three Ships - Darol Anger / 3:43 (fiddle, piano, double bass, guitar, mandolin)
3. Babe Is Born/Enter The Stable Gently - Liz Story / 3:29 (solo piano)
4. Snowfall Lullaby - Barbara Higbie / 3:48 (piano, harp, violin, accordion)
5. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear - Alex DeGrassi / 3:40 (guitar, cello, Uilleann pipes, whistle)
6. Impending Death Of The Virgin Spirit - Will Ackerman / 6:11 (solo guitar)
7. La Nit De Nadal (Christmas Night)/El Noi De La Mare (Son Of Mary) - Mike Marshall / 5:38 (mandolins, winds)
8. Dreamtime - Nightnoise / 3:27 (Celtic ensemble)
9. Year's End - Michael Manring / 4:04 (bass, piano, cello)
10. Song Before Spring - Benjamin Verdery with Ufonia / 5:56 (guitar & acoustic ensemble)
11. What Are The Signs - George Winston / 5:22 (solo piano)
12. Rain into Snow - William Coulter / 3:51 (guitar & acoustic ensemble)
13. 20° Below - Paul McCandless / 3:56 (English horn, guitar, flute)
14.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christian Ellithorpe on February 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Probably 4.5 stars; A SUPERB release, and an attempt to get back to as many of the original groundbreaking artists which made the Winter's Solstice series so endearing. Highlights: As ALWAYS, I look forward most to Ackerman and especially, Barbara Higbee's contributions to any of the Winter's Solstice CDs. Higbee in particular, always has the most surprising arrangments or original compositions, and this release is a perfect example. "Snowfall Lullaby" is one of the most touching lullaby melodies. (though it is by no means sleepy; simply comforting in a sort of "neo-celtic" way). There are Harps, violin & piano; you simply must hear it to know how fine it is, and to experience what I'm trying to describe in words. Ackermann normally tries to write something original, or which is not a traditionally well-known Christmas song, which was the overall attempt in the groundbreaking first two Winter's Solstice releases. Here he does a pensive remake of one of his classics "Impending Death Of The Virgin Spirit". Perhaps one might see it as a deep-reflection on Mary's depth of charcter and her impending suffering which will one day lead to the loss of her child. Darol Anger's "I saw Three Ships" is an quite original, if more familiar melody. It's an arrangement that is peaceful & lilting & not the usual "jig" we hear so often. There are so many others: "What are the Signs" by Winston is a perfect "10", "Year's End" by Manring, Paul McCandless's "20 Degrees Below" and Liz Story's "Babe Is Born/Enter The Stable Gently". While there are a couple uneven spots, by some less familiar artists, this is one of the essential releases of the series.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AE on March 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is the best of the Winter solstice albums. I'm not one for a real new age sound. I like classic, celtic, instruments. This CD shines... contemporary with olde sounds. The second track is by far the best track to me.. it has a holiday flavor, but I don't just listen to this during the holidays. In fact, all of the Solstice albums are like this really. Its not Christmassy.. its beautiful, serene, music. My other favorites are I, II, and VI.
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Format: Audio CD
Let me state upfront that I was a HUGE fan of the Windham Hill label in the 80s, and I have quite a few albums (later replaced by CDs) from that era, including the original Winter Solstice (released in 1985), still the best of all the Winter Solstice releases. Then came Winter Solstice II (in 1990), and III, IV, V, and VI. I lost interest pretty quickly after the Windham Hill era entered the 1990s, as the original artists faltered and new artists came about. The other day I was browsing the used CD section at my local record store here in Cincinnati and fell upon this release. Looking at the names involved in this reunion, I took a chance (okay, for next to no money) and bought this, sound unheard. Glad I did!

"A Winter Solstice Reunion" (originally released in 1998; 14 tracks; 61 min.) starts off gently (and nicely) with "Keiki's Dream (Child's Dream)" a guitar piece by Keola Beamer (whom I've never heard of before). But soon we are to the big names from the Windham Hill 80s era: just to mention Liz Story, Barbara Highbie, Alex de Grassi, Nightnoise, George Winston, Michael Manring (who appears on several tracks), and of course Will Ackerman (here contributing the beautiful "Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit" guitar solo, as only he can). YES, this is truly a reunion album of Windham Hill's greatest names from the 80s, and what a delight it is. The only track on here that I found out of place is the very last one, Tuck & Patti's "Christmas Wish", for having vocals, say it ain't so! But other than that, this album was absolutely worth buying.

Since we are in early December, I find myself playing Windham Hill quite a bit, and not just the Winter Solstice albums (the very first one and now this one).
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