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A Winter Garden: Five Songs for the Season EP


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Audio CD, EP, November 7, 1995
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Frequently Bought Together

A Winter Garden: Five Songs for the Season + Midwinter Night's Dream + To Drive The Cold Winter Away
Price for all three: $69.45

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 7, 1995)
  • Original Release Date: November 7, 1995
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: EP
  • Label: Quinlan Road
  • ASIN: B000002N3H
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,841 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Coventry Carol
2. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
3. Good King Wenceslas
4. Snow
5. Seeds Of Love

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Loreena McKennitt's "songs for the season" are haunting for their beauty and her fascinating voice. Blending traditional Irish music with worldbeat and New Age-like instrumentation, McKennitt's arrangements are at once elegant and eloquent, enchanting and familiar, whether she's singing "Coventry Carol," "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," or "Good King Wenceslas." "Snow," adapted from a 19th-century poem, and the traditional "Seeds of Love" are so lofty and deep they reach almost mystical places. --Martin Keller

Customer Reviews

These include Coventry Carol, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, and Good King Wenceslas.
C. Collins
If you like McKennitt, Celtic music or World music this is a worth addition to your Christmas season collection.
M. J. Smith
Loreena McKennitt has a wonderful voice, and the way she displays it is just amazing!
Sofi C

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Callie on December 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Several people have called this CD too short, but one must understand that this is not a real album, but and EP. One must also remember that this was made at the same time she was making "The Book of Secrets" and didn't have enough time to make a full lenght Christmas album. If you are and Enya listener who has some singles that are about 10, 15, or 20 minutes long, you will not be bothered by the length of this CD.
Anyway, this is a very beautiful collection of music, exactly 22:28 minutes long. I really loved the Middle-East beat of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen", a one of a kind style! I also really loved the old traditional Celtic sound of "Good King Winceslas", which I heard on the radio a few weeks ago. I'm very glad that she was able to include uillean pipes in the music, for it gave the music feeling and old style. Loreena also did a new version of "Snow" which sounded very nice, but I found it to be a little too fast paced. I also liked "Coventary Carol", but found it to be too fast paced. I highly recommend people to hear the version on Charlotte Church's "Dream A Dream", which was slower and brought more meaning to the music and lyrics. But then there also is the traditional English "Seeds of Love", which I really LOVED. It sounds so traditional, clear, simple, and lovely. Though the music is very different from the original version, it sounds just as old and traditional as the real version. Though I have to admit that I did have one disappointment and that was that the booklet did not explain the meaning of the words of the song. You see, "Seeds of Love" is not a Christmas song(though it brings meaning to the title 'A Winter Garden', but a tradtional English song about love and sorrow.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By SARA on August 28, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Loreena Mckennitt's A Winter Garden is her second Christmas album after To Drive The Cold Winter Away.Unlike that album that has sparser music and an acoustic feel to it,Winter Garden has more instruments and was recorded in a studio.Traditional favorites like God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Good King Wenceslas are given an upbeat almost Middle Eastern sound.Snow a song she first recorded on To Drive The Cold Winter Away is also given stronger music.Seeds Of Love is another traditional song, though it doesn't have a Christmas theme.The best song on the album is Coventry Carol.It's a beautiful and moving song and Loreena does an excellent job with the vocals.Overall this is a great Celtic Chrismas album her fans should enjoy.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Emily Snyder on December 2, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Any collection of Christmas music that includes the Coventry Carol is worthy of praise. Ms. McKennitt's voice and selection, as always, are excellent - but, unfortunately, *not* enough (especially when one of the pieces is repeated on her full-length album "To Drive the Cold Winter Away"). Regardless, "A Winter Garden" is well worth buying as a companion to her other CD's and for the holy day season. Those who enjoy Ms. McKennitt's work, but desire a more "uptempo" or "semi-popular" collection of Christmas carols will find "A Winter Garden" more to their liking. Those who simply love Loreena McKennitt's talents, will find "A Winter Garden" well worth any price.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Finally -- a Christmas album that doesn't include "Jingle Bells," "Joy to the World" or "Let It Snow." Instead, Loreena McKennitt looks back on an almost-forgotten time when Christmas was a sacred holy day, in the all-too-brief but very lovely EP "A Winter Garden."

It opens with the soothing, lullaby-like "Coventry Carol," before heading to the majestic catchiness of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and utterly enchanting "Good King Wenceslas," where a saintly king and his servant travel on foot to bring food and firewood to a poor woodsman's family. It's a beautiful little song, and the sprightly tune makes it even more so.

A smoother, softer tone comes in with "Snow," the musical adaptation of a poem by nineteenth-century Canadian poet Archibald Lampman. It's a frosty, beautiful portrait of a winter evening, without any direct reference to Christmas, but its formal tone fits in. The EP rounds off with the traditional "Seeds of Love," a sweet little love song.

Christmas is one of those holidays swamped by commercial profit and not by the traditions and beliefs behind it. So it's refreshing to hear songs that don't bring to mind mall muzak -- instead, McKennitt's EP make you think of wassail, medieval castles, cathedrals draped in holly, and blankets of snow over dark forests.

"A Winter Garden" was recorded over a few days in the summer of 1995, in Wiltshire's recording studios. It sounds pretty laid-back, and the relaxed tone of the results shows it. Her selection of songs is excellent -- four are traditional ballads, rich and underused by most singers. I'm not quite sure why she included "Seeds of Love," which while a lovely song, has no reference to Christmas or wintertime.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alan Caylow on December 9, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Having already recorded a full-length Christmas album, "To Drive The Cold Winter Away," Loreena McKennitt went into Peter Gabriel's Real World studios for three days with some musicians in July 1995 to record five Christmas songs just for fun. The end result is the Christmas EP, "A Winter Garden." Just 22 minutes long, "A Winter Garden" can easily be taken as a companion disc to "To Drive The Cold Winter Away." Loreena & company perform this quintet of holiday songs beautifully, especially the gorgeous, nearly-7 minute rendering of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," easily one of the very best versions of this classic song ever recorded. There are also spirited performances of "Coventry Carol," "Good King Wenceslas," "Snow" (originally featured on "To Drive The Cold Winter Away"), and "Seeds Of Love." "A Winter Garden" is a lovely holiday postcard from Loreena McKennitt.
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