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A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A Winter's Solstice by Various

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring
  2. Engravings II
  3. New England Morning
  4. High Plains
  5. Nollaig
  6. Greensleeves
  7. Bach Bour\xE9e
  8. Northumbrian Lullabye
  9. Petite Aubade
  10. A Tale Of Two Cities


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 1, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: September 1, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Windham Hill Records
  • Run Time: 40 minutes
  • ASIN: B000000NGH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,817 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I first heard this music in '88, and immediately bought the tape. It is hauntingly beautiful and has a depth and perspective seldom matched by any recordings I know. My dad died that same year the week before Christmas, and we played this at his memorial. It was unforgetable and will never leave those of us who shared in that moment. Usually, I'm a hard core rock and roller, but this represents an important digression and expansion of my personal tastes. I don't think many would be disappointed with what they hear.
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Format: Audio CD
Windham Hill records has released about five "Winter's Solstice" albums that attempt to creat a somber mood of midwinter and sober reflection of the Holiday season. Of the five, the first one is the best because it contains a minimum of obvious holiday standards and because it creates the most somber mood. The music here, from various Windham Hill artists, is achingly beautiful. It is the type of music to curl up in front of a warm fire with a cup of hot cocoa and reflect on what it all means. This is a must have for fans of new age music.
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Format: Audio CD
A very peaceful and serene recording that evokes perfectly the mood of late autumn and early winter. It's a perfect CD to play just before the holidays to get you in the mood for more traditional Christmas music.
Excellent adaptations of Bach music on two tracks ("Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"/"Bach Bouree"). "Engravings II" conjures up images of a New England scene at sunset - church bells and all. "New England Morning" and "High Plains" are standouts - they both start off slowly and end remarkably - each successive listen grows on you.
"Nollaig" by Nightnoise (check them out separately) has a Celtic flavor while "Greensleeves" by Liz Story is a brilliant adaptation of an old classic.
In fact, there isn't a bad track on the entire CD. Overall, the music has a medieval feel to it and is very soothing to the soul. I have been listening to this CD for years and have many fond memories of driving home from work with it on cold autumn nights with the sunset looming just ahead and the newly bare trees silhouetted in the growing darkness on the side of the road. Just look at the album cover to see what I mean.
Highly recommended. This is not "background" or "elevator" music. The artists included on this CD are highly talented musicians and if you like this music as much as I do, there are dozens of highly-acclaimed recordings by these artist to explore. The entire Winter's Solstice series is worth getting but start with this one.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the cd that turned me on to the Windham Hill Collection. I have since purchased several other "Solstice" cd's. It is great music to inspire, contemplate, relax, soothe or just have on in the background for conversation. It is neither religious or Christmas caroly (if you do not like that sort of stuff). I listen to this CD through the entire year. I do not think you will be disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD
I cut my teeth on Windham Hill music with this recording. I was a Sergeant in the US Army's MI Branch in South Korea. The nights were cold and long, but this compilation from a number of artists was like a cup of hot cocoa.
Uplifting to the spirit and soul; A Winter Solstace is what winter would sound like, if you could put winter to music. There were many nights I would put this recording on, sit back, close my eyes and dream of happier times and simpler times.
Buy this CD and have your own experience.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite musical albums of all time. My wife and I played this our first Christmas together, and for all time since this album has come to represent the season of Christmas for our entire family. No one has ever visited our home during Christmas, heard the music, and failed to comment on how wonderful it is. This is a hauntingly beautiful collection of instrumentals that fully captures the crisp and clear cold nights of Christmas, together with the hope for the future and rest from one's labors that that season represents to so many of us.

This poor review can hardly do justice to what is truly an outstanding musical achievement.
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Format: Audio CD
Windham Hill has certainly milked this series for a very long time based on the success of this album in the 1980s. Many of its successors are really very good, but this is the seminal Windham Hill artists' statement about music, memory, and seasonal sentiment. Most of the cuts on this album are so well crafted that they may seem simplistic, but what is so telling for me is that the pieces hold up year after year and they possess a magical quality that allows the music to become a part of one's Solstice/Christmas experience. Will Ackerman's "New England Morning" is especially moving in this sense, and certainly seems to capture something elemental about New England in winter. This quality of the music is a tribute to the pure artistry of the performers/composers. Winter's Solstice II also works well on this level of grace and harmony. While the albums that follow the first two are good in many ways, and certainly contain high quality performances, the series sets a high standard with the first two attempts that is very tough to match. Highly recommended at any price.
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