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Navona Records presents Dashing, a festive album for the holiday season featuring brand new works and arrangements of holiday favourites by several outstanding composers, with performances by The Stanbery Singers, the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra...
I don't know why, but I love eclectic Christmas releases. I've acquired albums over the years that mix lounge jazz tracks in with traditional choral arrangements - each song being a total genre change from the last. These sort of albums wouldn't work for any other genre, but Christmas music seems to break down all the walls of what is acceptable.
Dashing includes twists on old familiars with such a great attention to detail that there's plenty of quality material here to appeal to everyone from the youngest to the oldest member of every family.
The album contains 14 tracks (51 min, 05 sec) opening perfectly with 'A Visit From St. Nicholas', which sees Kerry Stratton narrating the classic poem ’Twas the Night Before Christmas' and closing with the beautiful 'A Christmas Celebration' performed by the Moravian Philharmonia Wind and Percussion Ensemble.
Familiar faces and tunes make appearances here, including Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s perennial holiday favourite, 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy' from his ballet The Nutcracker. Henry Wolking provides a jazz arrangement of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen'; likewise, David Tanner contributes with an arrangement of 'O Holy Night'. His other work, 'A Visit from St. Nicholas', sets Clement Moore’s classic poem ’Twas the Night Before Christmas to orchestra, with narration by Kerry Stratton.
Delvyn Case and Timothy Lee Miller deliver rousing, spirited music with their 'Rocket Sleigh' for orchestra and 'A Christmas Celebration' for wind band, respectively. Christopher J. Hoh introduces the album’s choral works with his invitational 'Come Now and Celebrate', along with a choral arrangement of Thomas W. Talley’s folksong 'Behold That Star', composed in the style of African–American spirituals. L. Peter Deutsch weaves choral voices with solo instruments on each of his Three Winter Holiday Songs, 'A Winter’s Rime', 'Hodie Christus Natus Est', and 'The Holly and the Ivy'. James Shrader contributes two choral works - a setting of 'In the Bleak Midwinter' as a theme and variations, and 'Balulalow', written in a traditional Scottish style. Phillip Rhodes rounds out the album with the luminescent 'A Lullaby for the Nativity'.
This is one album that I'll be playing constantly this Christmas, not to mention for many years to come.
David Tanner (SOCAN)
Alphonse Adam (arr. David Tanner) (SOCAN)
Delvyn Case (BMI)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
L Peter Deutsch
Emily S. Van Niman, english horn
Rebekah E. Chesnes, flute
09 - In the Bleak Midwinter
Christopher J. Hoh
12 - Come Now and Celebrate
Timothy Lee Miller