Notes & Reviews:
If you are a lover of Christmas music - carols, popular songs, and all manner of medleys and clever arrangements of such - and you miss this extraordinary recording by the first-rate Dallas Wind Symphony, then your holiday listening stands to be just a bit more dull, less festive, and more ordinary than it could have been. This is a terrific program, in exemplary sound, that not only celebrates the Christmas music tradition but exemplifies the best of the wind ensemble genre, with its unique sonorities and long tradition of both originality and sense of playfulness and humor on the part of composers and arrangers... . "if you buy only one Christmas CD this season, this one should be it" - but I won't; I'll just say that if by chance it is the only one, you won't be disappointed.
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Elgar: The Longed-for Light - Elgar's Music in Wartime / Susan Gritton, soprano; BBC Concert Orch., Wilson
Dawn Richard: Goldenheart [PA]
Handel's finest arias for Base Voice / Christopher Purves, bass
J.S. Bach: The English Suites BWV 806-811 / Richard Egarr, harpsichord
Schubert: Erlkonig / Schubert Edition Vol. 7 / Matthias Goerne, baritone; Andreas Haefliger, piano
Prokofiev: Sarcasms; Visions Fugitives / Steven Osborne, piano
Massenet: Le Portrait de Manon; Berlioz: Les nuits d'été / Susana Gaspar, soprano; Hanna Hipp, mezzo-soprano; Pablo Bemsch, tenor; Zheng Zhong Zhou, baritone
Wagner: Die Walkure / Anja Kampe, Nina Stemme, Ekaterina Gubanova, Jonas Kaufmann, René Pape, Mikhail Petrenko. Valery Gergiev
Franck & Strauss: Violin Sonatas / Augustin Dumay, violin; Louis Lortie, piano