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Winter Dreams for Christmas

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 23, 1993
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The world's favorite Christmas melodies in new arrangements for the cedar flute and Eaton's guitars. Ten carols including, What Child Is This?/Greensleeves, I Saw Three Ships, Angels We Have Heard On High, and Silent Night (with Navajo chorale).

Review

Winter Dreams is a bona fide new age Christmas classic, an instrumental masterpiece that combines R. Carlos Nakai's haunting Native American flute with William Eaton's guitar, lyre, and harp guitar. Created in 1990, this timeless recording excels on every level.

This is exquisite mood music, a rich palette of calming colors and textured aural tapestries. The flute and guitar are well matched. The Native American flute can sound somewhat stark and lonely on its own; the acoustic strings provide a warm foundation and beautiful balance. Nakai is world-famous for his mastery of the cedar flute, which comes to life in his capable hands. Interestingly, Nakai began his musical career as a trumpeter (my instrument of choice many moons ago), but a car accident destroyed his embouchure, and this led to his fabulously successful flute career. It's funny how life (and fate) can steer us in radically different directions for unexpected reasons.

Winter Dreams covers nine ancient carols and one Eaton/Nakai original, The First Snowfall, a flowing and evocative piece that will have those early flakes blowing through your consciousness. On the closing cut, Silent Night, the Navajo Chorale provides faraway harmonies that suggest a dreamlike state. It is an appropriate finale to an elegantly-crafted album.

R. Carlos Nakai and William Eaton make the familiar become brand spankin' new all over again. The innovative arrangements and artful execution on Winter Dreams are guaranteed to make visions of sugar plums dance in your head!

--Carol Swanson
(Reviewed in 2007)

More From the liner notes:

As a Dine (Navajo), R. Carlos Nakai's world has two seasons. Summer is the explosive recreation of the natural world balanced by the quiet of the winter season. This is the time to reassess personal experiences in the journey of life and to respect all that has been created for survival and enjoyment by the Yei, Coyote and the First People.

So, too, in the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ, the darkest time of the year is the time of introspection, of renewal of hope and faith, of thanksgiving for the gifts of love.

In this spirit, R. Carlos Nakai and guitarist William Eaton arranged these beautiful Christmas songs from Europe. It is as if these melodies carried themselves from the Old World across the New... to the southwestern deserts where the wind and solitude imbued them with a new enchantment...

It is the dream of R. Carlos Nakai and William Eaton that the peace and goodwill expressed in these timeless melodies lives throughout the year for people of all cultures and faiths.

From the Website:

Of Navajo-Ute heritage, R. Carlos Nakai is the world's premier performer of the Native American flute. Originally trained in classical trumpet and music theory, Nakai was given a traditional cedar wood flute as a gift and challenged to see what he could do with it.

Since 1983, he has released over 35 albums on the Canyon label. In addition to his solo appearances throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, Nakai has worked with guitarist William Eaton, flutist Paul Horn, composers James DeMars and Phillip Glass and various symphony orchestras. --By Carol Swanson - ChristmasReviews website
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 23, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Canyon Records
  • Run Time: 53 minutes
  • ASIN: B000001387
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,712 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bundt Lust VINE VOICE on November 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I found out about this CD in a recent catalogue that I received in the mail. I am a longtime fan of R. Carlos Nakai and was thrilled to see that he had released a CD of traditional Christmas carols reinterpreted for cedar flute and guitar.
Some of the songs are more improvisational than others and may not be to everyone's taste if you're expecting a more traditional collection of holiday songs and carols, but all are strikingly beautiful and reflective with a recognizable melody. I love the Navajo chorus on "Silent Night"--it's worth buying the CD just for this inspiring new version of a beloved song.
The album evokes the some of the same sense of wonder and contemplation as Loreena McKennitt's Christmas album "To Drive the Cold Winter Away." Hearing the Native American cedar flute carrying the melody and accompaniment was a very pleasant surprise. The cedar flute is hauntingly beautiful and mysterious, much like the holiday season itself.
I am not familiar with William Eaton, but his guitar playing is superb, gentle and radiant, shimmering like the lights on a Christmas tree. It is a perfect compliment to the flutework of R. Carlos Nakai.
"Winter Dreams" is among my most cherished Christmas albums but it is appropriate year-round as it is a deeply spiritual and beautiful CD. It captures the magic of the first snowfall, the winter silence and crisp air, peace and comfort. Buy this for yourself if you seek a little wonder, contemplation, and peace in your holiday season. Happy Holidays.
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Format: Audio CD
The hauntingly beautiful cedar flute of R.Carlos Nakai comes alive in each selection. Interwoven accompaniment by William Eaton enriches the Christmas selections and Winter Dreams carries you away, to another place and another time, filled with beauty, ecstacy and simplicity. The presentation of Silent Night is breathtaking!
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By A Customer on December 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is my favorite Holiday music by far. Carlos Nakai demonstrates his genius with wonderful adaptations of Christmas classics. I've been a fan of Nakai/Eaton for a long time and this is their best effort yet. Absolutely beautiful. Buy this one!
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Format: Audio CD
I received this wonderful cd over 10 years ago as a Christmas

gift at work and its been part of my Christmas music for the end of the year

holidays. Beautiful, haunting music created by Carlos Nakai and

William Eaton with the theme of introspection and renewal at

its core. Something about this music, I guess the southwestern

desert landscapes and the open space created in the music just

make this a classic. Timeless melodies and familar songs created

by master musicans featuring flute, guitar, lyre and harp guitar. Unforgettable.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most exquisite collections of Christmas music I have ever heard. It will take you on a magical, winter-y, spiritual journey.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This album has been a seasonal favorite since it came out. I have given it as a Christmas gift more than once. All instrumental and very peaceful. The tunes may be familiar but the arrangements are not the usual frenetic stuff on the radio. Please enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
As a fan of the cedar flute and Native American music, I happened upon this gem whilst looking for an enjoyable Christmas CD that was relaxing and made me appreciate the songs again. What I love the most about this CD is, once again, R. Carlos Nakai's stunning ability to perform the music in such a way that takes familiar sounds and transforms them into something recognizable but very refreshing. This is definitely a CD to buy and because of the change of the sound, it will be appealing throughout the year. Definitely a great buy.
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If you like Windom Hill for a mix of relaxation and dreaming...then you will love this CD. I've got three or four of his flute CD's and I love every one of them. This ranks with the best of the best Christmas by candlelight and Christmas lights, eggnog and rum, and your Love under your arm snuggling on the couch in front of the tree. Enjoy.
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