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Christmas with Los Romeros - Away in a Manger, Joy to the World, Ave Maria, Carol of the Bells, Silent Night, Little Drummer Boy et al.

Audio Samples

>Handel, George Frideric : Messiah, HWV 56, Oratorio
>     For unto us a Child is born
>     Hallelujah
>Kirkpatrick, William J. : Away in a manger
>     Cradle Song) (New English Hymnal 22)
>Handel, George Frideric : Joy to the World (theme by Handel)
>Schubert, Franz : Ave Maria
>Leontovych, Mykola : Carol of the Bells
>Traditional, Christmas : El Noi de la Mare, carol (Catalan)
>Gruber, Franz : Silent Night
>Davis, Katherine K. : The Little Drummer Boy "Carol of the Drum"
>Traditional, Christmas : Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming) (Alte geistliche Kirchengesäng 1599)
>Paris, Massimo : X'mas Suite, for 4 guitars & chamber orchestra
>Mendelson, Lee : Christmas Time is Here
>Gounod, Charles : Ave Maria
>Siktberg, Stephen C. : Medley
>     O Christmas Tree / We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Album Summary

>Handel, George Frideric : Messiah, HWV 56, Oratorio
>Kirkpatrick, William J. : Away in a manger
>Handel, George Frideric : Joy to the World (theme by Handel)
>Schubert, Franz : Ave Maria
>Leontovych, Mykola : Carol of the Bells
>Traditional, Christmas : El Noi de la Mare, carol (Catalan)
>Gruber, Franz : Silent Night
>Davis, Katherine K. : The Little Drummer Boy "Carol of the Drum"
>Traditional, Christmas : Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming) (Alte geistliche Kirchengesäng 1599)
>Paris, Massimo : X'mas Suite, for 4 guitars & chamber orchestra
>Mendelson, Lee : Christmas Time is Here
>Gounod, Charles : Ave Maria
>Siktberg, Stephen C. : Medley
Performers Conductor Ensemble
  • >
Composers
Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sala María Cristina, Málaga (04/2011-05/2011).

The Christmas album and the guitar ensemble are two of the most consistent sales drivers in classical music, and it may seem odd that the two haven't been yoked together more often. This release by the perennially popular family group Los Romeros should help address any lack, however. It's a pleasing, diverse collection that provides plenty of opportunity for the Romeros to display their relaxed way with a simple tune. But it changes gears enough that it doesn't fall into a monotonous groove. Concerto Málaga conductor Massimo Paris takes on the black belt of crossover composition, the creation of original Christmas music, with his X'Mas Suite, an attractive five movements that shift among different moods and idioms while still connoting the holiday. That piece is nicely balanced between chamber music and guitars (there are four, and the work was written for Los Romeros). The balance in some of the other orchestral pieces, most of which Paris had a hand in, is not so successful; the strings get the tune in the two excerpts from Handel's Messiah, with the guitars a bit overshadowed in figuration below. But most of the limpid traditional tunes, traditional and not so much, do not use the orchestra at all. These aren't perfectly integrated with the orchestral pieces, but any one of them shows the Romeros at their best, with the sheer melodic smoothness that has garnered countless fans without even any particular interest in guitar music. The bottom line is that this is likely to prove a pleasing holiday album for a great many listeners. ~ James Manheim



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Works Details

>Handel, George Frideric : Messiah, HWV 56, Oratorio :: For unto us a Child is born
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitar); Los Romeros (Guitars)
  • Conductor: Massimo Paris
  • Running Time: 4 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1741

>Kirkpatrick, William J. : Away in a manger :: Cradle Song) (New English Hymnal 22)
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitar); Los Romeros (Guitars)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1885

>Handel, George Frideric : Joy to the World (theme by Handel)
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitars); Los Romeros (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1742

>Schubert, Franz : Ave Maria
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitars); Los Romeros (Guitar)
  • Conductor: Massimo Paris
  • Running Time: 7 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1825

>Handel, George Frideric : Messiah, HWV 56, Oratorio :: Hallelujah
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitars); Los Romeros (Guitar)
  • Conductor: Massimo Paris
  • Running Time: 3 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1741

>Leontovych, Mykola : Carol of the Bells
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitars); Los Romeros (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1910

>Traditional, Christmas : El Noi de la Mare, carol (Catalan)
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitars); Los Romeros (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 15th Century

>Gruber, Franz : Silent Night
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitar); Los Romeros (Guitars)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1818

>Davis, Katherine K. : The Little Drummer Boy "Carol of the Drum"
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitar); Los Romeros (Guitars)
  • Running Time: 3 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1958

>Traditional, Christmas : Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming) (Alte geistliche Kirchengesäng 1599)
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitars); Los Romeros (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: circa 1599

>Paris, Massimo : X'mas Suite, for 4 guitars & chamber orchestra
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitar); Los Romeros (Guitars)
  • Conductor: Massimo Paris
  • Running Time: 21 min. 2 sec.

>Mendelson, Lee : Christmas Time is Here
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitars); Los Romeros (Guitar)
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Vince Guaraldi (1928 - 1976).
  • Running Time: 2 min. 26 sec.
  • Form: Christmas

>Gounod, Charles : Ave Maria
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitar); Los Romeros (Guitars)
  • Conductor: Massimo Paris
  • Running Time: 6 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: circa 1852

>Siktberg, Stephen C. : Medley :: O Christmas Tree / We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • Performers: Los Romeros (Guitars); Los Romeros (Guitar)
  • Conductor: Massimo Paris
  • Running Time: 2 min. 21 sec.
  • Form: Christmas