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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great gift
I had already purchased the VHS and received the CD as a gift. This CD is a great addition to add to your collection if you are a Three Tenor's fan. The selections are mixed with pieces from various countries. However, the English selections I would have prefered Carreras and Domingo. I find Pavarotti not to be his best in this language.
All three gave 100 % however,...
Published on November 4, 2000

versus
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this last 3 Tenors to be produced live?
An avid fan of the the 3 Tenors format and the tenors themselves, I was a little disappointed in this long overdue production of Christmas Music. While many of the more cherished traditional numbers (Ave Maria, Silent Night, etc.) brought a warmth and gratitude for the these men and their talent, some of the other offerings were less than expected. The Jingle Bells...
Published on December 8, 2000 by Paul Tarrant


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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great gift, November 4, 2000
By A Customer
I had already purchased the VHS and received the CD as a gift. This CD is a great addition to add to your collection if you are a Three Tenor's fan. The selections are mixed with pieces from various countries. However, the English selections I would have prefered Carreras and Domingo. I find Pavarotti not to be his best in this language.
All three gave 100 % however, I would have enjoyed more individual performances than the program that was chosen.
My favorite selections were Dormi O Bambino, Carol of the Drum, and Adeste Fideles. The John Lennon selection Happy Christmas/War is Over I have to get use to.
Overall it is great holiday music to listen to when you cannot watch them on the VHS or DVD.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Different & Addicting! And All Your Friends Will Be Calling HOO-HOO!, August 22, 2005
First, let me state I don't listen to opera singers that much; thus, don't expect a hypercritical review here. (Really, is there ANY field of music that has more hypercritics than opera?) I got this CD simply because Columbia House had it on sale for $2.99, and I wanted some new Christmas CDs.

I found the CD delightful beyond words. It has some beautiful versions of well-known Christmas songs, as well as songs I've never heard before. "Carol of the Drum" and "War Is Over" are my two favorites, with "Sleigh Ride" a close third.

Sure, there is some tripping over of words by these three great opera stars...but that makes it even more enhancing in my opinion. Pavarotti was particularly amusing when he was singing: "And all our friends are calling 'HOO-HOO'!" (Watch the DVD for Carreras' reaction to that one!) And let's not forget Pavarotti singing: "I'll be home for Christmas. You can PLAY on me."

The children's chorus is great, the Vienna Symphony is great...and, once again, buy or rent the DVD so you can get the full affect of this astounding Christmas concert...the music, the lights, the colors, and the marvelous Steven Mercurio conducting it all.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this last 3 Tenors to be produced live?, December 8, 2000
By 
Paul Tarrant (Knoxville, TN USA) - See all my reviews
An avid fan of the the 3 Tenors format and the tenors themselves, I was a little disappointed in this long overdue production of Christmas Music. While many of the more cherished traditional numbers (Ave Maria, Silent Night, etc.) brought a warmth and gratitude for the these men and their talent, some of the other offerings were less than expected. The Jingle Bells arrangement can only be categorized as "a waste of great talent." If you are a fan and have seen the video, then you must get the CD. The CD's producers obviously "assisted" the recordings compared to the video's poor presentation. Mr. Pavarotti shows some weakness in what is normally his forte -- power. Mr. Carreras seems to attempt a "coloring" of his vocal talent when normally his diction and technique are beyond any dispute. Only Mr. Domingo shows his emotional warmth and strength as well as his command of the English idiom. For Christmas music "philes", this CD is still a must have. And for those 3 Tenor fans, this could well be the last to have.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's good but perhaps not great, December 6, 2000
By 
Ray Barnes (Surrey, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Anyone who is a fan of The Three Tenors will find this CD indispensable. I share other reviewers' concerns about the inaccuracy of Pavarotti's English, and I would add his German is not that much better. The recording is quite rich and well detailed, although as mentioned elsewhere the singing has too much forte and not enough mezzo voce. The orchestral playing of the Vienna Symphony is respectable as is the conducting of Steven Mercurio. The contributions of the Gumpoldskirchner Spatzen Children's Choir are very distinguished indeed and quite a pleasant surprise.
I was somewhat dissapointed with the very minimal documentation in this recording, which has little more than several photos of the Tenors in various parts of the Vienna Konzerthaus. Considering the price of this issue there should have been some translations of the songs which were not rendered in English. I also feel the performance of John Lennon's Happy Christmas, done in an arioso style with a rather questionable orchestral arrangement, did not add to the progamme but rather detracted from it. It was regrettable that track was not performed solely by the excellent choir.
Taken as a whole, it remains an enjoyable issue.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A historical meeting..., November 28, 2004
By 
Stefan Huber "shicorp" (Bischofstetten Austria) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Although several labels already had Christmas albums of the three tenors in their catalogue, the three maestros never actually trioed on these releases. When Plácido Domingo and the "Christmas in Vienna" team started preparing the eighth concert in the series (six predecessors were captured by Sony, and one, titled "Celebration of Christmas" issued by Erato-Warner), they made a monumental decision: Re-uniting three of the greatest voices of the current music business.

For one and a half hour, Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti performed the greatest Christmas songs and carols from around the world. Nearly 65 minutes of this monumental concert are captured on this disk. The opening version of "O Holy Night" (aka "Cantique De Noel", "Minuit, Chrétien") by Domingo and Pavarotti would be reason enough to get this one. But wait, there is far more on the way, than selections from the classical genre. The real enjoyment starts, when the three tenors do one of the most romantic arrangements of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" ever heard and fade from a rousing "La Virgen Lava Pa`nales" into one of the finest treatments of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" ever heard. Also of great interest is the trio arrangement of "Let It Snow!", which is included on some of the import versions and on the DVD.

If you are a hopeless completist like me, you may be asking, what happened to the 25 minutes cut from the CD release. Well, first let me say, that none of the currently available releases has the order of the songs as they were performed in the concert. Although this is a live recording, handclaps and other characteristics of a live recording are hardly audible on the CD version. Two tracks, "Jingle Bells" and "Let It Snow", which had clearly audible handclaps at the beginning and at the end of the performance (and therefore couldn't be faded out) can be found on the mentioned import disk and on the DVD's PCM soundtrack. "Children of Christmas" (a Plácido Domingo Jr. composition originally introduced in "Christmas In Vienna IV" by Plácido Domingo and Michael Bolton) and "Ay" Para Navidad" can be found exclusively on the DVD. Currently unavailable on any official release is the "Overture" (which can be found on the DVD, but abridged with sound effects). So here's the actual running order: "Overture", 20, 2, 1, 11, 3, 4, "Children of Christmas", 16, 17, 6, 15, 8, "Let it snow", 5, "Ay! Para Navidad", 9, 19, 14, 18, 12, 13, "Jingle Bells", 7, 21, 10;

If you still doubt about the quality of this performance, let me say one for sure: As other volumes in the series will slowly disappear (as some of them have already in the US), this one is a matter of decades and when you buy this one, you will have joyful Christmas hours for many, many Christmases to come.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE THREE TENORS WITH THREE GOLDEN VOICES, December 4, 2000
Each time these guys get together for a recording session, all things turn to gold in their particular style of music. I have all the Three Tenors CDs and I am not surprise on how good this venture turned out. I am not a great lover of opera, but these guys I do like. For the opera lover, you may be able to pick apart the flaws and be crtical about their performance, but not I. I just love it. This CD will not be played only at Christmas, but it will be apart of my everyday listing pleasure along with other Three Tenors CDs. I am hoping that there will be another Three Tenors performance in 2002 after the World Soccer Championships.; we can only hope.
Happy listing, because you will enjoy it
Tripp
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is not opera!, February 9, 2002
By 
Mark (United States) - See all my reviews
To start I just want to point out that when hearing this CD, one should not judge it as opera because it just isn't. Some reviewers talked about slow tempis. Hello! christmas songs! This is not Otello! Its magic relies on beautiful songs sung by three of the most beautiful voices ever.
And honestly...it is a great CD with great songs. The only bad thing about it is that sometimes Pavarotti forgets himself and starts siging with enormous power forgetting that he is in a church singing what is supposed to be very soft and light music.
Otherwise...great! Worth to have it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars buy it, September 20, 2003
BUY THIS ALBUM FOR THE GREATEST ITALIAN OPERA VERSION OF O HOLY NIGHT! it makes me cry :(
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag (And I Don't Mean Santa's), April 13, 2010
I've never actually seen the video version of this particular Three Tenors project, and in fact only got around to listening to the CD relatively recently (when I was given a slew of holiday albums this past winter). I can't help wondering if I wouldn't appreciated the DVD more. The Tenors concerts always seemed to have their moments of greatness--and their moments of kitsch. But they were live events, and in such situations, one tends to be generous and accepting of the inevitable highs and lows. That's especially the case of "side projects," like this one: you need more than a few grains of salt. I wouldn't accuse the singers of not taking the project seriously, but do any of the artists involved devote the same level of care to these efforts as they do to their solo projects or to an appearance in a staged operatic work?

If the listener keeps these truths in mind, he or she will find to find much to enjoy with any Three Tenors project. The holiday record was likely inevitable, and the selections, by and large, predictable. There are the classical pieces, of course, and the obligatory popular holiday standards. This type of mix CAN work, but just as often, it displays the singers' weaknesses will be thrown into stark relief with their considerable strengths. American songbook standards like "White Christmas" are so steeped in idiomatic English language works that non-native singers are going to struggle with them. And classically trained singers are likely going to oversing them (as happens here). It's almost a kind of overcompensation.

Y'know, Frank's daughter Nancy once told him not to stop comparing himself (negatively) with the great classical singers because none of them could do Sinatra like Sinatra. She was onto something. Even though "White Christmas" is associated more frequently with Crosby, Ol' Blue Eyes DID manage quite a credible version many years ago. The Tenors do not. It's not just the mispronounced English ("MY your days be merry and bright," being but one example): it's the entire "feel" of the song.

And if the holiday edition of the Great American Songbook is scarcely the Tenors' forte, then it's hard to know what to even begin to say about their attempt at a John Lennon tune. I admire their willingness to take on the challenge of "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," but the reading is waaay off. Who'd have thought that there could ever be a context in which one could say that Yoko Ono could perform a song better than the Three Tenors?

They fare better with a simple, spiritual like "Amazing Grace." It's go more fireworks than your typical take on that song, but it's still respectful of the text, and really quite touching.

I'm not a musical snob, but I may well be a language one. Of the three singers, it's pretty clear that Placido Domingo is the most comfortable with the demands of the English language: Pavarotti the least so. Domingo is also pretty authoritative in his readings of German texts, although he does seem to have difficulty with the "short" vowels so common in Germanic languages ("Chreestmas"). Pavarotti, it seems, was born to bring out the glories of his native language, and the Italian selections come off brialliantly. One could say the same about the two Spanish born singers with their interpretations of the Spanish language offerings.

Actually, all three singers handle the Romance language texts effectively, and I guess that shouldn't be all that surprising. But "Sleigh Ride"? "Winter Wonderland"? Like "White Christmas," these are little musical Christmas cards. Operatic bombast only makes them border on the ridiculous. It's sweet in a way--or maybe just good marketing--that the singers want to honor the popular classics of a country that has embraced them so thoroughly. Too bad it doesn't work.

To sum up: "Wiegenlied," "Ave Maria, Dolce Maria" "Tu Descendi Dalle Stelle," "Dormi, O Bambino" and others obviously closer to the actual hearts of the singers, all very good. "White Chistmas," "Sleigh Ride," "Winter Wonderland"--well, not so much.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and funny compilation, March 8, 2005
By 
The Three Tenors are, of course, wonderful to listen to. This is also a funny CD. When they sing the more modern songs (Happy Christmas by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, for example) they have trouble keeping up with the pace of the song. They almost sound like they're tripping over the syllables, because as opera singers they are more accustomed to long, drawn out vowels, not fast ones. This doesn't hurt the song at all, it makes it more interesting to listen to. It's a great CD. I would recommend this as an addition to any collection of Christmas music.
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The Three Tenors Christmas
The Three Tenors Christmas by Domingo/Carreras/Pavarotti
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