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70 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best "Solstice"
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...
Published on August 5, 2000 by Brian D. Rubendall

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good not great
Not as good as the other winter solstice CDs I've owned but still a pleasant compilation of melodies that evoke emotions of calm and peace
Published 8 months ago by Pat Rawling


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70 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best "Solstice", August 5, 2000
This review is from: A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists (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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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winter's Solstice by Windham Hill, December 8, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists (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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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect soundtrack for late autumn in New England, November 8, 1999
By 
Ken Cook (Chelmsford, MA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists (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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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly relaxing and spiritually uplifting CD., November 9, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists (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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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Windham Hill Classic, December 25, 2002
This review is from: A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists (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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful musical interpretation of winter and Christmas!, December 22, 2004
By 
Roger J. Buffington (Huntington Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists (Audio CD)
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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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of the Solstice series, November 27, 2000
I listen to this one a lot during the holidays, and I always make sure to play it toward the end of a party, when the candles are low and the fire is purring instead of roaring. Unlike some of the other Solstice compilations, this one doesn't have any jarring clunkers or any tracks that go too far into a modern, mechanical techno flavor. It's just warmth throughout. Over the year, I've varied on which was my favorite track. First it was "Bring Me Back a Song" (a piece with fascinating structure and an appealing barrel-organ timbre to the main instrument). Then it was Phil Aaberg's splendid solo piano composition "The Gift," which comes out of nowhere and creates a majestic forest of sound. Right now it's "Abide the Winter" because the melody and texture are so expressive and comforting. This CD will enhance your appreciation of the candlelit solace of being sheltered from the bitter cold out there.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music and Memory, December 31, 2006
This review is from: A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists (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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great During The Fall Season Too!, July 23, 2004
By 
Dimitri Galitsis (N.J. United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists (Audio CD)
Coupled with Volume 2, I find these two to be the best out of the whole set. Personally I enjoy the original compositions instead of all the remakes of the traditional holiday classics.

To me, there is nothing better than listening to both 1+2 while driving through Vermont on a cold crisp Autumn day during the peak color season in October and then at night while in front of a fireplace. There is something so relaxing about them and they put you so in touch with life and the earth. They really make you glad to be alive!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Beautiful, January 19, 2002
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This review is from: A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists (Audio CD)
Winter Solstice stays in my CD player all Winter. "Engravings", "New England Morning", and a breathtaking version of the old standby, "Greensleeves" are my personal favorites. This CD reminds me of why I love a snowy evening in Connecticut.
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A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists
A Winter's Solstice: Windham Hill Artists by Philip Aaaberg (Audio CD - 2003)
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