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Carol Symphony

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 21, 2003
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 21, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • Run Time: 69 minutes
  • ASIN: B00006RHPV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,103 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David A. Wend on December 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is a delightful holiday CD of music inspired by Christmas carols. The works recorded (all by British composers) here were the result of Christmas concerts that symphony orchestras began adding to their calendars in the 20th century as an alternative to the Messiah and Bach's Christmas Oratorio. The longest of the works recorded here is the Carol Symphony of Victor Hely-Hutchinson, composed in the mid-1920s. It is cast in four movements although the symphony is to be played without a pause. Each movement is based on a single carol but the second and last movements make use of a second carol theme. Improvisations on Christmas Carols by Bryan Kelly is set in five short movements with each based on a single carol and include God rest ye merry gentlemen, I saw three ships and Ding dong merrily on high. Bethlehem Down is a short piece by Peter Warlock, originally for voice, is arranged here a string orchestra by Philip Lane whose own Wassail Dances is included on this disc. The Dances are based on three drinking songs that are sung during the Christmas season in England. The final work is A Christmas Carol Symphony by Patric Standford that is also cast in four movements and makes use of several carols notably Deck the Halls, God rest ye merry gentlemen, Away in a manger, On Christmas Night and ends with We wish you a merry Christmas.

The music is very well played and recorded. The music is imaginatively orchestrated and is perfect as a supplement to hearing the ubiquitous renderings of the Halleluiah Chorus of Handel.
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By bubba on January 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is a great Christmas disc for those who want something a little off the beaten path. There are several very interesting original works based upon known (and sometimes unknown) Christmas music themes. The Prague Phil is a great form, and the price can't be beat! Very pleasant, and worth a hear. Enjoy!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I adore this music! It strikes me in a deep, emotional way. The allegro movements make me tap my fingers and hum along, the slower-tempo pieces draw out the contemplative mood of a gray winter's day while making me smile. It's all underlined with the simmering excitement of Christmas day. I'd listen to it all year if it wouldn't cause me cognitive dissonance and make it less special. Because it IS special ... I seldom buy music. I heard it, I think, on NPR, and said to myself "I HAVE to have that album." And so I bought it and have considered it one of the best purchases I've ever made.

I have eclectic tastes. My second-all-time-favorite Christmas CD is South Park's Mr. Hanky's Christmas Album, mm'kay? And that one I can sing along to since it has lyrics--and I love to sing--so the fact that this one beats it out of first place without even being really singable says something. It's just gorgeous, that's it. If you love Christmas and you love outstanding orchestral music, you owe it to yourself to buy A Carol Symphony.
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Format: Audio CD
The reviewer of December 2006 gave an excellent quick summary of this disc's contents, and I second everyone's assertion that this is a wonderful Christmas album to own and to give. Among Messiah, albums of straight carols, and I suppose the various "Christmas" concertos of a few composers, it isn't always easy to find quality recordings that utilize traditional holiday music in what could be termed a classical vein. This album smacks that target right in the center. Highly recommended, for this or any other season.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a charming collection of light arrangements of Christmas music that is familiar to many. For those whose listening is limited to music heard at holiday time while walking through the shopping mall, it may even seem a little highbrow!

Well arranged, well performed and well recorded.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first heard this CD on the Philadelphia classical music radio station, and knew I wanted to purchase it for my own Christmas music collection. It's a beautiful addition that I played repeatedly around the holiday. I've decided to enjoy it all through the year as well. It's very lush and uplifting to my spirit. It's imaginatively written and orchestrated. It's one of my favorite CDs.
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Format: Audio CD
A wonderful Christmas musical addition to your CD library. Excellent arrangements with full orchestra in classical style. Good stuff.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Remarkable, richly orchestrated Christmas music. Traditional tunes & hymns, no 'Jingle Bell Rock' thankfully! Just thoughtful instrumental holiday music performed by a top-notch orchestra.
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