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Holiday Pops

5.0 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 29, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Boston Pops Orchestra ~ Holiday Pops
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 29, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SONY MASTERWORKS
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • ASIN: B000007QGW
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,194 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
I'm not going to say anything silly and oozing with propoganda; i.e. "I never know it's really Christmas until I hear the Boston Pops." That would be a shameless lie. I'm one of those people who *always* knows when the holidays are near; I start counting down the days till Christmas the first week of September. My only point in writing this is to recommend to all of you a fantastic collection of holiday music. If you have a special place in your heart for beautiful music, Christmas, and/or Keith Lockhart, this album is for you! From sacred classics to swing and jazz songs, the Pops definitely knows how to reach listeners and spread the holiday spirit. The opening number, "Gloria," which actually premiered in 1990 with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, is a beautiful piece -- perfectly blending soaring choral lines with the majesty of the musical score. (The contribution of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, conducted by John Oliver, is wonderful in this recording!) Also enjoyable is the traditional "Carol of the Bells," with the Tanglewood Chorus; a medley of wassailing songs, "Tomorrow is My Dancing Day"; and the beautiful excerpts from operatic works by Berlioz and Bizet. A rousing jazz version of "Good King Wenceslas" that showcases a brilliant rhythm section puts a swing on an old favorite, and the album concludes with the John Williams/Leslie Bricusse modern classic "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas" from -- who would have thought? -- the movie "Home Alone 2." The latest addition to a string of successful classical recordings, Holiday Pops is the Boston Pops' way of wishing all of its listeners a happy holiday. It certainly lifted *my* spirits; I couldn't wait to hear it again. Merry Christmas to all, and a special thank-you to Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops for a job very, very well done!
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Format: Audio CD
Poor Keith Lockhart did not have the easiest time when he first came to Boston. He made a few major mistakes. First, he shortened the 1812 Overture at the July 4th Concert at the Esplanade, which may have been a decision of the television stations carrying the broadcast, but it, went over with a thud. His first few Christmas concerts were not critically acclaimed, though crowds still attended. By the time his album HOLIDAY POPS was released, things got a bit better for poor Keith, and now he is as much of a Boston institution as anyone.
The collections greatest strength is the lush sound of the orchestra and Lockhart's excellent handling of the ensemble. No matter what he selected as music for this album, it probably would have worked rather well. The track has a "Gloria" that was commissioned by the Boston Symphony. There are also familiar arrangements in the style associated with the Boston Pops of Christmas waltzes, a track called "Frosty All the Way," "Good Swing Wenceslas," and perhaps the best track on the disc "Tomorrow Is My Dancing Day." The chorus adds to numbers such as "The shepherd's Chorus," "Sleigh Ride," and John William's "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas" from HOME ALONE 2.
Lockhart's style differs greatly from the legendary Arthur Fiedler and his successor John Williams, but for those who love the Boston Pops, especially at Christmastime, will not have a complete collection without this disc.
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By A Customer on December 4, 2001
Format: Audio CD
In an age of Christmas artists like Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Who came up with these names anyway?), it's a blessing that we still have artists who have become as timeless as the Christmas music that they play. For many years, the Boston Pops Orchestra has had an annual tradition of performing Holiday Pops concerts in December, with the audiences enjoying champagne and refreshments on the floor. And Keith Lockhart has certainly done an excellent job of carrying on the tradition long maintained by Arthur Fiedler and John Williams.
This CD is an excellent compilation of the Boston Pops at its finest. From the opening "Gloria" to "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas," each selection has its own unique touch applied to it. My favorites are "Gloria," "Christmas Waltzes," "Carol of the Bells," "The Shepherds' Chorus," "Christmas Time Is Here," and the swinging compilation "Frosty All The Way!"
He also presents a different version of the tune "Sleigh Ride," long a Pops Holiday staple, but I still think it sounds better without the lyrics. Fortunately, I have other recordings by Fiedler and Williams of this work. But other than this, it's a great CD overall. Thank you, Keith Lockhart, for keeping the tradition of great holiday music going. Your orchestra certainly has the timelessness that Mannheim Steamroller will never have.
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Format: Audio CD
I have to start out by saying, I am a HUGE Keith Lockhart and Boston Pops fan, as any of my friends will tell you. Naturally, I loved this CD. Mr. Keith Lockhart did a fabulous job of putting this CD together. Most (if not all) of the music was taken from the 1997 Holiday Pops Concert (if I remember correctly) and it is just good music. Christmas music is happy music and also having a CD cover with Keith in a Santa suit, is just the best. Holiday Pops gathers together "popular" christmas music like "Sleigh Ride" complete with chorus singing and more carol type pieces like "Carol of the Bells" (which in my experence, is hard to find).
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