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A Winter's Solstice II

Winter's Solstice Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Windham Hill Records
  • ASIN: B000000NHA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,569 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Gift - Philip Aaberg
2. 17th Century Canon - Paul McCandless
3. Prelude To Cello Suite # 1 - Micheal Hedges
4. This Rush Of Wings - Metamora
5. Sung To Sleep - Michael Manring
6. E'en So, Lord/Dadme Albricias - Modern Mandolin Quartet
7. 'Bring Me Back A Song.' - Michael O' Domhnaill
8. Salve Regina - Therese Schroeder-Sheker
9. Chorale #220 - Turtle Island String Quartet
10. Simple Psalm - Fred Simon
11. Flute Sonata In Em - Barbara Higbie & Emily Klion
12. Come Life Shaker Life - Malcolm Dalglish
13. Medievil Memory II - Ira Stein & Russel Walder
14. Abide The Winter - Will Ackerman
15. By The Fireside - William Allaudin Mathieu

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The Winter Solstice series from Windham Hill is an appealing souvenir from the label's early days, when guitarist Will Ackerman still served as its chief guiding light and fount of original thought. For years Ackerman shunned the overt commercial trappings of traditional Christmas recordings and instead offered odes to a broader season that, like his artists' music, is compatible with periods of sustained, hushed contemplation. Winter Solstice II, released in 1988, mixes original and traditional compositions (none that specifically brings Christmas to mind) and is adorned with classical overtones from front to back, conveying the high-minded earthiness associated with the label's then all-acoustic format. A few pieces on the 50-minute disc clock in at under than two minutes, and a couple others are duds, yet several selections make this quiet disc a worthy listen: a handsome interpretation of Bach ("Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1") on harp-guitar by Michael Hedges, plus gorgeous, yearning piano solos by Philip Aaberg ("The Gift") and Michael Manring. Better known as a bassist, Manring's reworking of one of his own works, "Sung to Sleep," may be the disc's highlight. Ackerman's contribution, "Abide the Winter," and "Medieval Memory II" by the sadly disbanded duo of pianist Ira Stein and oboist Russell Walder, float through the air as beautifully as winter's first snowfall. --Terry Wood

Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Artist: WINTER'S SOLSTICE
Title: VOL. 2-WINTER'S SOLSTICE
Street Release Date: 09/01/1989
Domestic
Genre: XMAS VOCAL COLLECTIONS

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
After all the years and all the Winter Solstice/Carols of Christmas?Windham Hill Christmas compilations, this is the one I always come back to. It has the most original material, and because of that, it is one of the few Winter Solstice albums you can honestly listen to in July or January or December. Brilliant improvisations by Philip Aaberg begin, and end this disc. One of Ackerman's awesome harp-guitar pieces, a piece by Barbara Higbee which is one of the only I've heard of her flute performances. And the most poignant moments of all - Fred Simon's Simple Psalm. Very moving piano work, complete with chime effects. Simply awesome. There is literally not a single boring or predictable track on this CD; it is a true masterpiece of astonishingly consistent talent all throughout. Yes the first "Winter Solstice" was very good, but this was actually far beyond perfect. THIS is the CD to start with!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite LOVELY for ALL Seasons... July 6, 2006
By Shmama
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
My first Winter Solstice cd (I started with number 2) & I'm quite impressed! It is completely Instrumental except for a very short beautiful addition of the sound of female voices more like an instrument near the end of one of the selections that adds to it's sweetness. (Normally I do not care for mixing vocals with primarily instrumentals, but this doesn't detract from it at all). I guess you could play this cd in the winter only, but that sure seems like a waste of the opportunity to be soothed year round. The music is reminiscent of the renaissance period & there are no recognizable Christmas tunes (for me anyway). This whole album is perfect for relaxing anytime & will be great at bedtime for me as I usually have trouble winding down to sleep. Overall, I highly Recommend it. There are some very reasonably priced "like new" ones offered by an assortment of sellers here on Amazon (I now have the first cd in this series on the way to me). Peace.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sentimentally Relaxing for Winter, or Anytime November 14, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is the second in the "A Winter's Solstice" series. As usual, the good folks at Windham Hill have assembled a masterpiece of music!

If I had to describe musically my feelings of the winter season, this would be it. This compilation is so perfect that, if I close my eyes, I can actually feel myself being transported to the vistas these selections describe.

Here's a sampling of what can be found on this CD:

"The Gift" describes a gentle snowfall. Each note and chord of the piano is a snowflake falling gently to earth amongst a forest of evergreens. "17th Century Canon" brings to mind a scene of an early Main Street, with bells ringing, garland and tinsel gently swaying and children playing in piles of snow. "Prelude to Cello Suite #1," written by Johann Sebastian Bach, becomes a fireplace with the flames dancing over the embers.

"Sung to Sleep" is a mother softly and lovingly singing her child to sleep and telling her child, and herself, that all is well. "Bring Me Back a Song" is actually a medley of traditional Celtic carols. It exudes a warmth of good tidings while causing the listener to reflect on Christmases past.

"Salve Regina" is a tune from the Middle Ages. While not specifically a Christmas piece, it nevertheless fits the mood of the album. "Simple Psalm" is perhaps a rendition of one of the Psalms put to music. The listener's mind may wander to a snow-covered countryside as the sun tries to peek through the clouds.

"Come Life Shaker Life" is a traditional Shaker hymn which celebrates life and the joy of living. "Medieval Memory II" is another mood piece that fits well in the canon. This piece brings to mind a winter's evening with a light snowfall, and is a reflection of "peace on earth" at winter time.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking and peaceful April 10, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Without a doubt, this compilation of material is terrific. My family has listened to this CD each Christmas season for several years; we are still fascinated with the depth and beauty of the recordings from start to finish. Especially, as Bach advocates, the rendition of "Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1" by Michael Hedges is a virtuoso performance, which I listen year-round. "Sung to Sleep"..unbelievable...just buy it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Seasonal Music October 4, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The whole Winters's Solstice Series is really first rate. The different styles of music all complement each other and there are enough traditional holiday songs to make the discs nice for holiday gatherings. My wife and I both love Christmas music, but this series goes beyond the holiday season and we do listen to them until Spring. The Windham Hill Christmas series offers very nice arrangements of the more "traditional" , familiar songs that we also enjoy. I think the best testament is that even though this series goes back 25 + years, it still plays well now. The regular familiar arrangements are nice, but this series offers a pleasant alternative. And, they are priced to buy! Put them on shuffle play on a multi disc changer and you won't have to worry about music for any gathering of good friends, family, food and spirits (Christmas and otherwise...)which is what the season is all about...counting your blessings and enjoying life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating January 25, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I was shopping in a store in Berkeley several years ago and they happened to be playing this album. I had never heard anything like it so I asked what the album was. The saleswoman had to go upstairs to find out and I'm so glad she did. It was my introduction to Windham Hill which led me to several of their artists who have become my favorites (particularly Nightnoise and Metamora) and many more of their albums that I now have. As other reviewers here have noted, the music is perfect background music for dinner parties, holidays or anytime you want to feel mellow. I particularly like the pieces with minor key fiddle music that remind me of pioneer folk music. I didn't hesitate to buy it after hearing a few of the songs. The samples here should convince you too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Of All The Solstice Albums.
The first two Winter Solstice albums are the best. This one is my favorite. Autumn is my time of year for New Age music with the first two Solstice albums being at the top of the... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Dimitri Galitsis
5.0 out of 5 stars Calming Peacefulness
One of my all time favorites to unwind after a long day.
Published 1 month ago by Nativespirit
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Winter's Solstice series
This completed my collection of Winter's Solstice Windham Hill music (I think) I have loved this music since the mid-80's when I first heard it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Grape fun
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect
perfect for a cold day with snow on the ground, frost on the windows and hot cocoa in the mug.
Published 5 months ago by earnest
5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as good as volume I but a geat addition to the collection
I'm a Windham Hills fan, and this is one of my favorites from them. Not sure why this was classified as alternative music.
Published 6 months ago by James J Dory
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful easy listening
Wonderful easy listening on winter's afternoon or night . . . or spring, or summer, or fall. This is very restful, lyrical, and non-boring music for background, sleeping, or just... Read more
Published 6 months ago by LE
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures the moods of winter and the holidays perfectly!
I own several of the Winter's Solstice albums, but II has come to encapsulate both the winter season and the holidays for me. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Brian Grzymkowski
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent service
This vendor provided excellent service. My purchase arrived on time, in good shape, and was exactly as described on line.
Published 20 months ago by K. DiLoreto
4.0 out of 5 stars Celebrations For a Gray Day
Last holiday season, I penned a review of the first of the Windham Hill WINTER'S SOLSTICE series, and I imagine I could simply make the same points again for the second in the... Read more
Published on June 15, 2011 by Gregor von Kallahann
3.0 out of 5 stars so so
I have other Winter Solstice CDs that I can't live without
this one didn't move me quite the same. good background music
during Christmas in my dog grooming shop
Published on February 5, 2010 by N. Joy Bonehill
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