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Christmas Extraordinaire

181 customer reviews

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Christmas Extraordinaire
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Audio CD, October 30, 2001
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$7.20 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock. Sold by RYU'SHOP and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Amazon.com

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


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

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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,711 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 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 By S. Kelley on 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 By Jaye Joyce on 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. E. on October 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Christmas Extraordinaire continues Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas series with album of great Christmas music at its best! What makes this album so Extraordinaire is that it was put together in a matter of months (that's right, MONTHS!).
Being a Steamroller fan and having visted their website quite frequently, I was asked on one such an occasion to choose what Christmas carols I think should go on this album. In fact a window popped up for about a month asking for a "Vote That Counts." I chose three carols (3 was all you were allowed): Away in a Manger, White Christmas, and a Steamroller original. They didn't do an original, but they certainly did an excellant job on the first two!! (I received this album for free and in advance for participation in the song selection, not a bad deal, huh?) I was going to buy it anyway!!
The album starts out right away in the Steamroller Christmas tradition. "Hallelujah," a fast, high-energy remake of the classic Handel choral & orchestral piece gets a heaping helping of brass (trumpets, french horns, trombones, low synth brass) to get you into the "Steamroller mood." This song is my second favorite on this CD (it's a close second place with Fum, Fum, Fum in first place). *This song sounds REALLY GOOD in a high wattage sound system with a Bass Tube or high watt subwoofer!!
The second track is White Christmas, arranged quite unexpectily I might add. It sounds remotely like Christmas Lullaby from Christmas in the Aire until that eerie, yet graceful Women's Choir comes in. It's a very unique sound for this song, but wonderful just the same.
Away in a Manger, Do You Hear What I Hear, The First Noel and Some Children See Him are all arranged pretty much in the similar fashion.
Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "TexasGirl" on 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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