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on November 2, 2002
Sometimes, you find a cd that speaks to your heart in such a way, that you want everyone to know about it. "A Windham Hill Christmas" is such a cd. Through the years, Windham Hill has provided a peaceful alternative to most traditional-like Christmas music. This is no exception! With this latest Holiday recording (just released this October), various Windham Hill artists have compiled new instrumental arrangements of traditional carols, just for this cd. With a remarkable lineup of talented musicians...George Winston(solo piano), Liz Story(solo piano), Will Ackerman(baritone guitar), David Cullen(guitar), W.G. Snuffy Walden(guitar), Tracy Silverman(violin, electric 6-string violin & keyboards), Thea Suits(flute), Jim Brickman(piano), Steve Erquiaga(nylon-string guitar), Barbara Higbie(Celtic harp, violin, piano & synthesizer), Tim Story(piano & synthesizers), Paul Schwartz(piano), Nightnoise(guitar, piano, flute & violin), Alex de Grassi (solo guitar), Jeff Johnson (keyboards), Brian Dunning(whistles & accordian), John Fitzpatrick(violin) and Paul McCandless(oboe, English horn & keyboards)...how can you go wrong?!? If I had to describe the tone of this recording, it would be: Beautifully Serene! My favorite song is W.G. Snuffy Walden's arrangement of "The First Noel." It is very poignant and moves me tears. It is my favorite Christmas carol. The only flaw, per say, is an error in the sequence of songs. The cd cover list's song #5 as "Chirstmas Is Coming," by George Winston, and song #6 as "The First Noel," by W.G. Snuffy Walden. The actual sequence on the cd is just the opposite, with Walden's song being #5 and Winston's #6. Hey, believe me, it's no biggie. Just a slight mixup. It has no bearing on the quality of the music.
If you're a long time Windham Hill fan, chances are you already have this cd, or are getting ready to purchase it. If this is your first introduction to Windham Hill, you've come to the right place. This will be one of the most peaceful Christmas cd's you could ever own. Makes for wonderful background music while you're wrapping gifts, addressing Christmas cards, or hosting a Holiday get-together. It's especially nice to "cozy up with" by yourself, over a hot cuppa tea or cocoa :-) It sure would make for a nice gift, too. You may also want to check out "The Carol's of Christmas," another instrumental Holiday recording from The Windham Hill Collection, and another favorite of mine.
I predict "A Windham Hill Christmas" will be one of this Season's bigget sellers and become another Windham Hill
"classic." IT IS THAT BEAUTIFUL!! Do yourself a favor and buy it.
Merry Christmas!
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on November 23, 2002
This is my first Windham Hill CD, but I have listened to at least one of their artists (J. Brickman) previously. Every year I shop for new Christmas CDs in November, and this one came out in October, so it's good timing.
For the most part the songs are smooth, mellow, and very relaxing, taking a pretty traditional approach to the songs. The only exceptions are the "Sussex Carol", which is somewhat fast, and "Christmas is Coming", by Vince Guaraldi, which is quite fast.
As one fellow reviewer noted, tracks 5 and 6 are switched from the liner track listing. When I first listened to [the supposed] "First Noel" I thought, "What kind of version is this?!" until I listened to the other track and realized the mix-up.
If you want an easy-listening night by the fire this is a wonderful accompaniment. It should enjoy a long life in my Christmas CD collection.
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on December 15, 2002
A Windham Hill Christmas is a delightful, calming presentation of seasonal favorites -- perfect for a quiet, cozy eve before the fire. The new or veteran WH listener will find a nice collection of the labels best artists - Brickman, de Grassi, ACkerman (guitar), Winston (piano), Nightnoise (instrumental/vocal) -- as well as the lesser known who lend variety and depth to this collection. A Windham Hill Christmas is a pleasant continuation of the atmosphere created in the label's Winter Solstice and December albums and calming contrast to the pop, rock and new age, electronically synthesized tones for a more hectic pace.
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on August 18, 2013
If you are familiar with Windham Hill recordings then you already know that their musicians produce some of the best and most affordable music around. This CD is all MUSIC meaning that there is no singing..... instrumentals only. Many Christmas classics have been around so long that artists take license with the music and apply their own "take" on how the music should sound. Because of this, I find that I am often disappointed with some if not many of the songs on a Christmas album. I am happy to say that these artists stay true to the traditional renditions of these timeless classics. The music is both thought and mood provoking with many containing an appropriately religous theme. (It's a Christmas album..... not an X-Mas album.) Listen to it once or twice and it will become just as essential to your Christmas celebrations as your tree, decorations, and holiay cheer. (Merry Christmas!!)
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on November 22, 2002
There are so many Christmas CDs out there that are just the same, boring recordings - it's like they recycle the same music over and over again! Not this one - all these new recordings from Windham Hill are exactly what fans of the label would expect. The music is just gorgeous when the family's sitting around the tree opening presents, for the Christmas dinner, or even just to enjoy holiday music.
I really liked Winston's "Christmas Is Coming" and the first track on the disc (can't remember the name); this is a great substitute gift for the 'hard to shop for' as well!
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on January 7, 2009
I can't tell you how tired I am of hearing the over-played carols and songs of Christmas. I loved them when I was a child. I liked them when I was in high school and college. I've heard same arrangements a million times and it makes me sad that they just don't do anything for me anymore.

Then there's the Windham Hill label! I would think that it has to be difficult to arrange songs that have been sung for 50-100+ years, keep the same spirit, and yet make them sound fresh and different. Somehow, the people over there have figured out how to do it...and do it very well! The predominantly accoustic arrangements are fresh, beautiful, and soothing to the soul.

This is my first Windham Hill album, and it certainly won't be my last! =)
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on January 8, 2014
On mondays and wednesdays, when the library I clean doesn't see staffers coming in until 11 a.m., I get to play CDs while I work. This is where I heard the album first. It's music is fun, melodic, cheery and reflexive of the Divine. It has just about everything you'd want to hear. Note: It's also a good album to listen to while doing your taxes or paying bills. It's going to get played a lot in a month or so at my house. :) Also, for those of you who own boutique shop businesses, this is a great one to play at Christmas - the songs are not too loud and promote a relaxed atmosphere. We even got to play this album within the library (while patrons where in the building) during Christmas week! My boss loved it!
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on November 3, 2002
Beautiful music and a nice variety, what you would expect from Windhill. The only flaw, tracks five and six are switched from the list on the album cover; #5 is "First Noel" and #6 is "Christmas Is Coming". Highly recommended.
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on February 9, 2015
All three of the CD's I ordered are the same.......Peaceful, relaxing and Beautiful!! I love All Christmas traditional music, but these are quite different than the other Christmas CD's that we possess. Still listening to them as I received these after Christmas! Still giving me the same feeling that Christmas need Never go away.
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on December 7, 2013
Another great Windham Hill Christmas CD. This is yet another addition to the holiday music collection going nearly non-stop starting mid-November. The great thing is, Windham Hill provides holiday music full of alternative sounds and fresh approaches. Unlike their peers, Windham Hill is able to provide holiday music that provides a great mix of acoustic and electric sounds...no wall of synthesized music or esoteric flute and guitar tunes. Windham Hill's sound is always rich, fresh and unique.
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