Customer Reviews: Christmas Eve and Other Stories
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My name is Christina, and I am 16 years old. Two years ago I bought Trans Siberian Orchestra "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" CD. I was so blown away! The hard rock on the eletric guitar, the rockin drums, and just rockin hard, but sill keeping the Holiday spirit alive with our favorite songs! My most favorite song off the CD is "Christmas Eve (Sonta 12/24)" It gets me into the that rockin mood for the holiday season. I recomend this cd who loves hard rock, but loves the melodie of Chrstmas. Also, if you get a chance, go see them in concert, the music is just... Wow!!!!!!!
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on December 23, 1999
Finally a CD worth waiting for ! A beautiful merge between metal, acoustic and classical. All tracks are worth their weight in gold. Very listenable. Incredible song writing and arrangement. Thrilling vocal perfomances and oh so professional. MISTER O'Neill, Kinkel and Oliva have outdone themselves. For Savatage fans, you will be left wanting more. For metal fans, you will be blown away. For classical fans, you will see and hear a new age in music. Their new CD is out entitled "The Christmas Attic". Have not picked it up yet but if it is half as good as the first you must buy this music.
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on December 14, 1999
...are you kidding? This has to be the premier album of all time, especially regarding Christmas music. I used to love Mannheim Steamroller, but they aren't even in the same league. I can't listen to any other Christmas music without thinking where's the depth, where's the passion, where's the music? Kudos to Paul O'Neill and his musical genius along with the whole 'orchestra'. Truly a masterpiece that will transcend time and generations.
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on December 26, 2004
From [...]

Let's get this clear from the beginning. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes from Savatage and oddly enough there are still some people who are not aware of this as the origin point f the group. The signature piece of this Metal Ensemble entitled "Christmas Eve Sarajevo" first appeared on the Savatage CD "Dead Winter Dead". The tune stood out on the CD back then and also received a large amount of airplay on stations that would never play the music of Savatage in the first place. The music of 1996 was very steeped in the "alternative" movement and hard rock music was seldom heard and looked to die a quiet death. Clearly this track would prove another road could be taken with heavy music.

The players on this piece include Chris Caffery, Jeff Plate, Al Pitrelli, Johnny Lee Middleton, Zak Stevens and Jon Oliva (who are all from Savatage on guitars, drums, bass, keys and vocals respectively). In addition to these metal stalwarts are co-creator Bob Kinkel (keys) and Tom Farese as one of the main vocal leads. There are at least another dozen or so singers that I have left off this writing. Most of these folks listed make up the East Coast Company of the touring entity that the group becomes each year.

Since the story that the music is based upon is by Paul O'Neill (a long time contributor to some Savatage material as well as co-creator of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra) the booklet that accompanies the piece includes the full tale and all the lyrics to these often very powerful tunes. The story is quite simple. It tells of an Angel on a mission from God on his visit to Earth at Christmas time. It follows his journey and tells of the people and things he comes in contact with. Very effective....It works. I usually will glance over the booklets on CD's for a minute or two, but in this case I had found myself referring to it each and every time the music begins. Those who see them live can agree that it helps to do this as a prep to the shows. The group will perform this CD in its practical entirety at each show for the Holiday Season.

Since this release the TSO (as they are lovingly referred to by fans) have released two more Christmas CD's ("The Christmas Attic" and most recently "The Lost Christmas Eve") as well as one non Holiday presentation called "Beethoven's Last Night". However, the first one remains the fan favorite and is a very tough piece to follow up on or surpass with any ease. This CD comes with the highest of recommendations from me as I view it as a work of genius. There are so many powerful moments on it, and while you might play it for one number or two you will often find yourself listening to the entire piece.

Alongside of the many instrumentals of which I find so many favorites, there are some stand out vocal numbers. Among these "Ornament" and "Old City Bar" which actually work together in the story. Who should buy it this item, well anyone who likes a great piece of music for the Holiday Season, and is a fan of great storytelling. I have loved the piece for years now, and it never gets stale. Enjoy.
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on December 22, 2002
Being a faithful concertgoer, I've seen literally hundreds of concerts in my 32 years on this planet. However, what I saw at Next Stage in Grand Prairie, TX on Saturday, December 21st changed me forever. It was the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in all its' glory. Strings, at least ten backup singers, (all of which had an individual opportunity to shine) pianos, acoustic interludes, all backed up by members of Savatage. Stunning stuff. 6000 people in attendance, and all walks of life represented. Behind me sat an opera student, and behind her an opera teacher sat with her entire class. Beside me sat a husband, his wife and their 7-year old son, and in front of me sat a 70-year old retired couple. Couple this with one of the most intimate, warm, loving settings you can imagine, and you have the experience of a lifetime. The show is not just an opera, it's a show that rocks with more than its' share of lighthearted moments, (like during "The Nutcracker Suite," when they somehow, magically turned it into a medley of Golden Earring's "Radar Love," "LaGrange" by ZZ Top and various Led Zeppelin classics. As well as many sexy, finger-snapping, jazzy interludes.) You'll experience the entire spectrum of human emotions. (Hell, I'm a pretty reserved fella, but I welled up with tears on a few occasions during the show.) This show encapsulates everything that makes music, in all its' flavors, the greatest invention known to mankind. There's no better way to spend 2 1/2 hours with your family.
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on November 27, 2006
Every song on this CD is brilliant, but my favorites are the story between "Ornament", "Old City Bar", and "This Christmas Day". The story begins at "Ornament", when a man is decorating the tree and praying that his runaway daughter will be protected this Christmas and that she might come home. The last verse of that song (which, for some reason, are not included on this CD) switch to the daughter's perspective and we see that she is standing alone in the snow. She cannot find a star to wish on, but she wishes on the neon lights of a nearby bar. The song "Old City Bar" follows, where the bartender is informed by a child (or perhaps an angel?) that there is a girl standing alone outside in the snow. The bartender puts her in a cab and sends her home to be with her family on Christmas. "This Christmas Day" is the story of the daughter returning home.

The same story is told on "The Christmas Attic" DVD. All three of those songs move me to tears every single time I hear them.
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on November 23, 2001
I first heard Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 on a local radio station, and when I heard it, I went home and scrounged the Internet to find out which group performed it. I finally found out about TSO, and went out to buy this CD. I just came home from getting Christmas Attic, and all of the combined 33 tracks are perfect. The songs telling the story of the CD can't be topped anywhere. Old City Bar and An Angel Returned are my top favorites. If you want to hear powerful and harmonic Christmas music, get both this album and Christmas Attic. I haven't heard Beethoven's Last Night yet, though I plan to buy it once I can find it.
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on December 7, 2002
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has become my favorite group since I first heard them on the radio. As soon as it is time to put the Christmas music in, I listen to Trans-Siberian Orchestra first. They make absolutely amazing music. It's great to get away from the the classic choral and fluffy Christmas music. This stuff is pure Christmas spirit and it's the kind of music that gives you chills when you hear it. I've always felt that good music puts a kind of magic in the air. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra fills my home with magic everytime we put the CD in. I would recommend anyone to buy this CD, even if you prefer traditional Christmas music. This is music unlike any other, and I guarentee you will love it.
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on January 1, 2000
It's rare when any album becomes special on a first listen, but this one does. From start to finish, each track blends into the next, taking you through a journey of the Christmas spirit. The music is of such quality that it would play as well in July as it does in December. If you are only going to play one holidat album, this is the one. Whether you enjoy choirs, harmomies, or a hard rock guitar, this has it all. I have not been this blown away by music since early Pink Floyd. This one is on my top tem album list of all time!
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on November 16, 2004
This is the greatest Christmas CD I have ever heard in my life. The album is a masterpiece from start to finish. The instrumentals are phenomenal, the lyrics are genious and the albums rocks all the way from the beginning to the very end. The part about this album that sticks out the most are the instrumentals. I was never a big fan of instrumentals until I heard this album.

The first instrumental is "O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night." The guitar solos in this piece are phenomenal. It's a great combination of the two songs put together into one giant instrumental. The orchestra did an excellent job combining the two. The next instrumental is "First Snow." I like this tune a lot and because I love to experience my first snowfall of the year. The riffs are real catchy and its a solid rock and roller. Another great instrumental piece is "Mad Russian's Christmas." It is a mix of rock and roll and the instrumental from "The Nutcracker." Perhaps the greatest and most powerful instrumental piece and the greatest song of the whole album is "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24." This tune is as powerful as any instrumental can be. This song has everything: guitars, piano, horns, drums, etc. The mix of every instrument on this song created a dark and gothic tune that is one of the greatest Christmas songs to date. Listen to the sample to see what I'm talking about.

The songs with vocals are "Promises to Keep" and "This Christmas Day." The first one is about Christmas and the spirit and promise of joy and happiness it brings with them and it is also sung by a children's choir. The next one, "This Christmas Day" is a masterpiece. The song is about a man's lover that is finally coming home for Christmas. The lyrics are genious. The second half of the song is my favorite with the man singing and also female singers singing, "Merry, Merry Christmas." The mix of the two vocalists created a song that have a very big emotional impact on me.

Buy this album to further extend your Christmas Collection. The orchestra is phenomenal and you can't beat them. The composer Paul O'Neil deserves a lot of credit for bringing this powers of the band members together in creating a Christmas album like no other before it. Nothing expresses the Christmas spirit better that than that of the gold old sounds of rock and roll. Merry Christmas! Ho, Ho, Ho!
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