Customer Reviews: Chip Davis Presents: Renaissance Holiday
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on December 20, 2002
Okay, there's been some debate in these reviews about whether or not this is a Mannheim CD. It is a collection of works performed by various artists (some of whom have worked with Mannheim Steamroller.) Chip Davis, who is the creator of Mannheim Steamroller, assembled this collection and put it all on this one CD. Contrary to what some people are saying here, I wouldn't consider Chip Davis to BE Mannheim Steamroller. He's the creator, and the composer of their works, but he is merely one of several performers. For this to really be a Mannheim Steamroller album, you would need to have Chip, Jackson Berkey, Arnie Roth, Ron Cooley, Roxanne Layton, etc, etc all performing together. And the arrangements would all have to be done by Chip.

Okay, technicalities aside... There is some good music here, and none of it is duplicated from previous Mannheim CDs as one reviewer said. They all have a Renaissance flair, so some of the arrangements may sound like ones that were done before, but these are definitely different enough to be called new. If you enjoyed the Renaissance bits from the Mannheim albums, you will enjoy this album. On the other hand, if you prefer the electronic, synthesizer stuff from the Mannheim albums, you may be disappointed. Overall, I'd say this is a worthy edition to the Steamroller albums, even if it isn't technically a Steamroller album itself.
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on December 14, 2012
I came to this CD not as a Mannheim Steamroller fan, but as someone who routinely listens to and performs music from that period - the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries.

Basically, I enjoyed the CD. It's got straight-up performances of pieces from that era. If you're a stickler about period instruments, note that some of the pieces are played on more recent instruments, like modern-day strings instead of Renaissance-era strings.

The CD has a Christmas/New Year focus in many of the selections, and the CD is called Renaissance Holiday, but almost half of the pieces are unrelated to the holiday season. Some were the dance music of the day, not tied to a holiday. They're good pieces, but I guess I'm a little disappointed that it's coming across as if anything that sounds old-ish like that must be Christmas music. It's like a menu that says the vegetable of the day is carrots, when it's actually a mix of green beans and carrots.

If you're looking for the Mannheim Steamroller synth/new-agey sound, it's not here. I was surprised so many people are calling it a Mannheim Steamroller CD when MS is mentioned nowhere on the CD - not the cover, not the liner notes, not printed on the CD (or at least not on my copy). Yep, three of the 40 or so performers are members of MS and Arnie Roth did some arrangements (no major departures from the originals), but MS isn't mentioned anywhere.

Some reviewers called the music medieval, which is off by a century or two. These are Renaissance and early Baroque works. The time between medieval music and some of these works is bigger than the time between Beethoven and the Beatles.

Some reviewers called the music English. Less than half the music is English. The rest is French, German, Dutch, Italian, or other origins.

When I put the CD in my laptop, iTunes did the lookup and assigned everything to the (gasp) New Age genre. Sheesh, only off by a FEW centuries!

All in all though, it's still a pretty good collection of Renaissance and early Baroque pieces, many of which are Christmas- or New Year-related.
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on March 25, 2006
Six Praetorius pieces, Hieronymus and Michael, make this CD worth much more than the price: they bring beauy to the ears and heart, especially M. Praetorius's opening track "Volte" by the Pittsburg Symphony Brass. Others are equally beautiful and played by such artists and organizations as the London Symphony Strings, Asbury Brass Quintet, Chicago Chamber Musicians Brass Quintet, and the Musica Anima Renaissance Consort. Here is a CD presented by Chip Davis that proves its value in its ability to be heard far beyond the December holiday season. Buy it now and enjoy it all year!
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on August 23, 2002
Beautiful. This is wonderful, creative, medieval Christmas music - you name it, this CD has it. It's by Chip Davis, not Mannheim Steamroller, as some people assume. But don't be put off by that. Only Mannheim's 2nd CD can outdo this one by Chip Davis, who IS Mannheim Steamroller, by the way. I find that most folks - even those of fairly mainstream taste - find this type of stuff compelling and worthy of buying.
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on December 11, 2001
Chip Davis, the arranger-conductor of Renaissance Holiday, IS Mannheim Steamroller. This particular album brings together Davis, his New Age synthesizers and various instrumental and percussive groups, with the great London Symphony Orchestra. With Renaissance Holiday, Davis surpasses the Mannheim Steamroller. This is Davis' most ambitious work in the area of seasonal music and a magnificent, glorious work of Christmas beauty.
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on January 31, 2006
I love my Renaissance Holiday CD. I have several CDs by Chip Davis. This is a good addition. Don't know how I missed it years ago. Thank you for the reasonably priced and speedy service.
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on February 7, 2013
Thsi review is for the mp3 download, not the original CD. This album was compiled by Chip Davis and some pieces are performed by at least one member of Mannheim Steamroller (Arnie Roth) but this is not a Mannheim Steamroller album. Nonetheless, the music quality and arrangements are excellent. The variations in track volume levels reported in a review of the CD were corrected when the CD was ripped to mp3 (I verified it in the properties; there was a wide range of volume leveling shown). The bitrate varies from 205 to 250 kbps which is sloppy (good ripping software can be set to rip at a constant bitrate) but is still sufficiently high enough to not have any audible loss on all but the best sound equipment. However, whoever tagged the mp3s apparently was on a roaring bender or was lazy and let the ripping software get the tags from one of the internet album databases, such as freedb, which are notorious for being inaccurate. Track titles and composers were sometimes mispelled. The composers were credited only by last name and were credited in the title field instead of the composer field as was Roth in the tracks he performed in. Occasionally, the wrong composer was credited. I spent well over an hour researching each track so I could correctly retag them. That cost the rating two stars. I often buy the CDs instead of downloading the mp3s because of the bad tagging and I wish I had done so here.
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Boy, are there reviewers of this who don't know what they're talking about. The compositions here are not Davis', but the likes of Praetorius, Franck, et al.
This is good stuff if you like the sounds of this period of music, which I do. I can't take a steady diet of it, but every now and then, and especially at the holidays, this is good CD's to spin.
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on December 23, 2012
The Mannheim Steamroller collections have ranged from traditional to avant grade, but this collection, using medieval musical pieces arranged for modern instruments, may truly be the most innovative. It is lively, vibrant, and engaging, and blessed with all the refined acoustics of modern technology without all those drafty medieval rooms.
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on December 20, 2013
A winner with this one. There is different music on the CD. Some of the songs (?) are short and don't have much of a melodic line, but over all I wanted new music and I got it with this one. The cover did not temp me to purchase the program tho. In fact I over looked it several times.
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