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Christmas Extraordinaire

Mannheim Steamroller , George Frideric Handel , Irving Berlin , James R. Murray , Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky , Noel Regney , Christmas Traditional , Ray / Livingston, Jay Evans , Catalan Traditional , Alfred S. Burt , Felix Bernard , Robert Burns , Chip Davis Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)

Price: $7.92 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2012 $9.99  
Audio CD, 2001 $7.92  
DVD Audio, Box set, 2002 $15.20  
Audio Cassette, 2001 --  

Amazon's Mannheim Steamroller Store


Image of album by Mannheim Steamroller


Image of Mannheim Steamroller



Grammy Award winning composer/ musician Chip Davis is one of the most successful innovators and
entrepreneurs in music today. He is the creator of Mannheim Steamroller, the #1 Christmas music artist in history and one of the top 50 best-selling artists of all times with over 40 million records sold, 27 million in the Christmas genre alone.

More than 30 years ago, ... Read more in Amazon's Mannheim Steamroller Store

Visit Amazon's Mannheim Steamroller Store
for 56 albums, 5 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Christmas Extraordinaire + Christmas + A Fresh Aire Christmas
Price for all three: $26.84

Buy the selected items together
  • Christmas $10.42
  • A Fresh Aire Christmas $8.50

Product Details

  • Performer: Chip Davis
  • Conductor: Robert Burns
  • Composer: Mannheim Steamroller, George Frideric Handel, Irving Berlin, James R. Murray, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, et al.
  • Audio CD (October 30, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: American Gramaphone
  • ASIN: B00005NNDK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,513 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hallelujah - from 'The Messiah'
2. White Christmas
3. Away In A Manger
4. Faeries - from 'The Nutcracker'
5. Do You Hear What I Hear?
6. The First Noel
7. Silver Bells
8. Fum, Fum, Fum
9. Some Children See Him
10. Winter Wonderland
11. O Tannenbaum
12. Auld Lang Syne

Editorial Reviews

Chip Davis's Mannheim Steamroller hasn't lost any ground in the six years since their last Yuletide offering. Christmas Extraordinare is another innovative and heartfelt collection of seasonal treasures played on a combination of 18th-century instruments and modern-day synthesizers, drums, and electric guitars. While not the first to marry different ages of musical instruments, Davis and his cohorts use them with imagination and an intensity that gives new life and drama to this rather inert genre. For material, Mannheim Steamroller asked their fans to choose their favorite holiday selections and vote on their Web site. The results of the poll are a fine mix of old and new--with slightly more emphasis on the modern--ranging from the bracing "Fum, Fum, Fum," a traditional Catalan carol, to Tchaikovsky's "Faeries" from The Nutcracker. Mannheim Steamroller imbues this beloved song with an almost militaristic edge, grounding it with an ominous tuba that gives the usually fey "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" an edgy tension. "Winter Wonderland" is a spectacular work, bordering on prog rock, as if Emerson, Lake & Palmer had re-formed to whip up a winter blizzard gone amok. While most of the Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas albums are largely instrumental, Davis has employed the considerable talents of University of Michigan's Glee Club to sing on "O Tannenbaum," respectfully fading their elegant, full vocals around the pristine voice of Johnny Mathis, elevating this German carol to a cinematic peak. Don't miss out on the clever liner notes, which give the reader a whimsical, anecdotal history of the 12 songs. --Jaan Uhelszki

Product Description

2001 holiday album from Chip Davis and his mates in Mannheim Steamroller.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of their Best! December 7, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Having enjoyed their efforts over the years, this one is in my humble offering, the finest to date!
This is fusion music at its best--jazz, classical, folk, new age, all woven into tasteful and well thought out, produced and performed works.
The "Hallelujah" effort is breathtaking! Outset gave me reserve to tamper with such, but The Steamroller pulls it off with delight and reverence! Their renditions of "Away in A Manger" "Do You hear what I hear" and my favorite: "Faeries."
The addition of UofM Glee Club and Johnny Mathis are nice touch, which adds to the enjoyment and variety. This is just happy, relaxing, reverent updates of scores we all like to hear.
Provides nice variety to pop into the CD and place on "Scramble" mode, jumping from CD track to CD track, providing bit of every style.
Highly recommend!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Extraordinaire" Nostalgia At It's Best! November 20, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I have been a bit perplexed over the past few weeks, reading the reviews for this year's Mannheim Steamroller Christmas cd. It seems like one really, really loved it or one didn't. While out doing my early Christmas shopping, I ran across a copy and picked it up for my Mannheim Steamroller music library. I popped it in my car's cd player as I went from one place to the next. I found this year's offerings utterly relaxing and delightful. It brought memories of the classic Christmas movies and I could actually invision Bing Crosby gliding along on skates singing along in my mind as I listened to "White Christmas".
This year's offerings are just what Chip said he was looking to do...."bring Christmas Carols back to the sound of their origins in the Reniassance". He succeeded, in my opinion, 100%. Haven't we all remembered fondly a Christmas of Yesteryear and wish just for a moment to be able to revisit that time?
...I do feel that Johnny Mathis is rather out of place in this particular recording. Mr. Mathis is a renowned singer who many would not do Christmas sounds without during their holiday season and he is talented. It's just the two sounds didn't blend too well as I found personally, it kind of jerked me out of the mellow nostalgia I was experiencing.
This is a must for any Mannheim Steamroller library and Christmas collection. Thanks Mr. Davis, I so enjoy the walk down Christmas memory lane! In this age of hustle and bustle, it is nice to find music so relaxing and nostalgic.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eminently Enjoyable December 11, 2001
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The only way you can not enjoy this album is if you are looking for ways not to enjoy it. The songs on this album go down easy, which is just what many of us like. I have all of the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas albums, and feel this one might get even more play than the older ones -- because it is so enjoyable. I honestly can't believe some of the negative reviews I read, and feel these people must have unrealistic tastes and expectations.
If you enjoy lovely holiday instrumentals, well played in light and uplifting arrangements, then you are sure to love this album.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is EXTRAORDINARY! November 30, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This album is breathtaking. I have been a fan of their Christmas music for years and I cannot comprehend looking at my tree or opening presents without their music playing. After the rather strange "Christmas Angel" album, this is a great comeback.
I agree with several other reviewers that I could have done without Johnny Mathis singing "O Tannenbaum." I think it would have been much better as simply an intrumental. It was a bit startling to suddenly hear a solo voice when the only other voices heard before were those in choirs.
Even so, I recommend it. It is beautiful.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I expected too much November 22, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I wrote a review of this album a few weeks back, when I first received as a freebie from American Gramaphone, and at the time I had awarded it 5 stars. Now, after several listenings, I'm afraid I'll have to knock off a star or two. Don't get me wrong, if you liked Mannheim's previous albums, you'll probably like this, but it definitely lacks something.
It starts off with a typical, almost cliche Mannheim flourish, by taking Handel's beautiful and majestic Hallelujah chorus and devolving it into something that sounds closer to "Chariots of Fire." Good music if you're running track, I guess, but is it Christmas... I don't know. Still, you should enjoy the energy of this opening piece while it lasts, because the next five tracks are little more than lullabyes. I've always liked Chip Davis' softer pieces, and he does them well here, but he throws too many of them together. After several tracks, what should have sounded nostalgic just sounds depressingly dreary. "Faeries" (from The Nutcracker) almost seems as it wants to be this album's equivalent of "Little Drummer Boy," (from "A Fresh Aire Christmas"), but it never builds up enough, which is unfortunate since it could helped liven things up.
"Fum Fum Fum" remains my favorite piece. It gives a much needed shot of energy to the album, and it relies on real Renaissance instruments, rather than Chip's tired MIDI instruments. If more of the album had sounded like this, I would have to give it five stars.

Chip claims to have written this album in only a few months. If that were entirely true, it would be easier to forgive some of its shortcomings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great selections
Really enjoyed all of the music on this. The Nutcracker Suite is one of my very favorites! I highly recommend it for your holiday listening pleasure.
Published 13 days ago by Beth
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Classic
Of the many follow-ups Mannheim Steamroller published in an attempt to duplicate its original Christmas CD, this one comes the closest.
Published 1 month ago by Prince
5.0 out of 5 stars love them
I love to listen to the Mannheim Steamroller at Christmas and I prefer them over vocal CDs. I play their CDs over and over and probably like A Fresh Aire Christmas the best.
Published 1 month ago by SJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Music
I like Mannheim Steamroller music, especially their Christmas specials. And I passed it on to a friend who could enjoy this great music.
Published 2 months ago by Carol Ann Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite.
This is my favorite Mannheim Christmas CD of all time. It has some very majestic translations of some quite traditional carols. Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. Wachs
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking Music
From the Messiah to the usual Christmas music, this CD has it all. If you can only own one Mannheim Steamroller CD, make it this one - you'll be happy every Christmas when you pull... Read more
Published 2 months ago by B. Gosse
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Group
Love this ensemble. This is a Christmas gift. I know the person is thrilled to have it and will enjoy it.
Published 3 months ago by Nancy Pulsipher
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album
Lost my original CD. Really missed having it in my collection. Definitely had to re-place it. Would recommend it to anyone who likes that mixture of "old-world" sound with... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pinkslip65
5.0 out of 5 stars Mannheim Steamroller Christmas - another great add to the set
I have the other 3 "aire" Christmas CD's. This is another great add to that set. I like the unique styles of Chip Davis and his orchestra in rendering new variations on... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rex Munyon
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Familiar
Still entertaining. Cant expect everything in Christmas music to be a revelation, but Mannheim interpretations are never weird or irrelevant.
Published 3 months ago by SidBread
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