sábado, 29 de dezembro de 2012

The Magnificent Piano of Peter Nero - Piano Forte - Orchestra conducted by Marty Gold

  1. I Can't Get Started
  2. Over The Rainbow
  3. Get Me To The Church On Time
  4. My Funny Valentine
  5. Scratch My Bach
  6. In Other Words
  7. Spring Is Here
  8. Night and Day
  9. That's All
  10. Surrey With The Fringe On Top
  11. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face
  12. Cherokee
Piano Forte

sexta-feira, 28 de dezembro de 2012

Mantovani - Theme from Carnival and Other Great Broadway Hits

  1. Theme from "Carnival"
  2. I Feel Pretty (from "West Side Story")
  3. You Are Beautiful (from "Flower Drum Song")
  4. Shall We Dance (from "The King and I")
  5. Till There Was You (from "The Music Man")
  6. I Know about Love (from "Do-Re-Mi")
  7. Do-Re-Mi (from "The Sound of Music")
  8. Till Tomorrow (from "Fiorello")
  9. So in Love (from "Kiss Me Kate")
  10. Ascot Gavotte (from "My Fair Lady")
  11. If Ever I Would Leave You (from "Camelot")
  12. My Heart Is So Full of You (from "The Most Happy Fella")

quinta-feira, 27 de dezembro de 2012

Terry Snyder and The All Stars - Persuasive Percussion - Volume 3

  1. Moments to Remember
  2. All the Way
  3. Theme from Polovetzian Dances
  4. Perdido
  5. Come Rain or Come Shine
  6. Hawaiian War Chant
  7. One for My Baby
  8. Kashmiri Song
  9. When Your Lover Has Gone
  10. Bingo Bango Bongo Baby
  11. Autumn in New York
  12. Don't Worry 'bout Me
Persuasive Percussion 3

terça-feira, 25 de dezembro de 2012

101 Strings Orchestra - Sleigh Ride

  1. Jingle Bells Fantasy
  2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  3. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)
  4. Adeste Fideles
  5. Sleigh Ride
  6. The First Noel (Full Symphonic Version)
  7. Silver Bells
  8. Bell Carol (Good Christian Men, Rejoice)
  9. Still, Still, Still
  10. Here We Come A-Caroling
  11. Coventry Carol
  12. Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella
Sleigh Ride

domingo, 23 de dezembro de 2012

Bobby Hackett - Music 'Til Dawn

  1. Stairway To The Stars
  2. Stardust
  3. Misty
  4. The Boy Next Door
  5. These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)
  6. Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread)
  7. Sweet And Lovely
  8. I Couldn't Sleep A Wink Last Night
  9. Dream
  10. Love Letters
  11. That Old Feeling
  12. Lazy Afternoon
  13. Can't Get Out Of This Mood
  14. Moonlight In Vermont
  15. Like Someone In Love
  16. Polka Dots And Moonbeams
  17. Blue Is The Night
  18. It's Magic
  19. When I Fall In Love
  20. Indian Summer
Music 'Til Dawn

sexta-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2012

Dave Brubeck - A Dave Brubeck Christmas

  1. "Homecoming" Jingle Bells
  2. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
  3. Joy to the World
  4. Away in a Manger
  5. Winter Wonderland
  6. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  7. What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)
  8. To Us Is Given
  9. O Tannenbaum
  10. Silent Night
  11. Cantos Para Pedir las Posadas
  12. Run, Run, Run to Bethlehem
  13. "Farewell" Jingle Bells
  14. The Christmas Song

Dave Brubeck covers a host of favorite carols on this solo outing. His chime-like "Joy to the World" and striding "Winter Wonderland" are treasures. His festive opening version of "Jingle Bells" contrasts with the weary version signaling the end of an evening's festivities; anyone who has ever worked a holiday party will relate to it. His originals include the delightful "Run, Run, Run to Bethlehem" and the meditative "To Us Is Given." This is a Christmas album worth repeated hearings.  

(By Ken Dryden from allmusic.com)

quinta-feira, 20 de dezembro de 2012

David Carroll and His Orchestra - Percussion Orientale

  1. Caravan
  2. In A Persian Market
  3. Harem Dance
  4. Ballet Egyptian
  5. Bacchanale
  6. Twilight in Turkey
  7. Scheherazade Themes
  8. Danse Orientale
  9. Dance of the Slave Maidens
  10. Shish-Kebab
  11. Orientale
  12. Bali Ha'i (bonus track)
Percussion Orientale

Roger Williams - The Best of Roger Williams - Vol. 2

  1. All I Ask Of You (From "The Phantom Of The Opera")
  2. Moonlight Love (Based on "Claire de Lune") (Claude Debussy)
  3. Stairway To The Stars
  4. Oh! What It Seemed To Be
  5. Rainy Days And Mondays
  6. This Love Of Mine
  7. From A Distance
  8. Lady
  9. Saving All My Love For You
  10. Canadian Sunset
  11. Etude No. 3 In E Major, Op. 10 "Tristesse"
  12. Blues In The Night
  13. Dream A Little Dream Of Me
  14. The Girl From Ipanema
The Best of Roger Williams  Vol. 2

quarta-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2012

Roger Williams - The Best of Roger Williams - Vol. 1

  1. Autumn Leaves
  2. Unchained Melody
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. Somewhere in Time
  5. Chariots of Fire
  6. The Rose
  7. Unforgettable
  8. The Way We Were
  9. An America Tail ("Somewhere Out There")
  10. Memory (From "Cats")
  11. Embraceable You
  12. The Wind Beneath My Wings
  13. I'll String Along With You
  14. What A Wonderful World
The Best of Roger Williams Vol. 1

Patti Page - Christmas with Patti Page

  1. Jingle Bells
  2. Silent Night
  3. Christmas Choir
  4. The First Noel
  5. Christmas Bells
  6. White Christmas
  7. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  8. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
  9. Pretty Snowflakes
  10. I Wanna Go Skating With Willie
  11. Where Did My Snowman Go
  12. The Mama Doll Song
  13. Boogie Woogie Santa Claus
Christmas with Page

The best-selling female singer during the 1950s, Patti Page in many ways defined the decade of earnest, novelty-ridden adult pop with throwaway hits like "The Doggie in the Window" and "I Went to Your Wedding." By singing a wide range of popular material and her own share of novelty fluff, she proved easily susceptible to the fall of classic adult pop but remained a chart force into the mid-'60s. 

Born Clara Ann Fowler in Muskogee, OK, she began singing professionally at a radio station in Tulsa and took weekend gigs on the side. (After being billed as Patti Page for a program sponsored by Page Milk, she decided to take the name even after leaving.) Page toured the country with a band led by Jimmy Joy and ended up in Chicago by 1947, where she sang in a small-group outing by Benny Goodman and gained a recording contract with Mercury. Her first hit, "Confess," came that same year and made her the first pop artist to overdub harmony vocals onto her own lead. After a few more successes, Page gained her first million-seller in 1950 for "With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming," which cashed in on the novelty effect of overdubbing (the added touch came with listing it as "the Patti Page Quartet"). Also in 1950, "All My Love" became her first number one hit and spent several weeks at the top. That same year produced the biggest hit of her career, "The Tennessee Waltz." Notched at number one for months, it eventually became one of the best-selling singles of all time and prompted no less than six Top 40 covers during the following year.  

During 1952-1953, Patti Page scored two more huge hits with "I Went to Your Wedding" and "The Doggie in the Window," both of which spent more than two months at number one. She gained her own television program, The Patti Page Show, in 1955 and moved into full-lengths with In the Land of Hi Fi and Manhattan Tower. Page also proved more resilient to the rise of rock & roll than most of her contemporaries, hitting big in 1956 with "Allegheny Moon" and "Old Cape Cod" the next year. Indeed, she kept reaching the charts (if only in moderate placings) throughout the '60s, paced by the Top Ten theme to the film Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte in 1965. Though she stopped recording for the most part in 1968, she continued performing into the '90s. 

(By John Bush from allmusic.com)


terça-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2012

Terry Snyder and The All Stars - Persuasive Percussion

  1. I'm In The Mood Of Love
  2. Whatever Lola Wants
  3. Misirlou
  4. I Surrender Dear
  5. Orchids In The Moonlight
  6. I Love Paris
  7. My Heart Belongs To Daddy
  8. Taboo
  9. The Breeze And I
  10. Aloha Oe
  11. Japanese Sandman
  12. Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing
  13. Blue Is The Night
  14. Blue Tango
  15. Miami Beach Rhumba
  16. Yours Is My Heart Alone
  17. In A Persian Market
  18. Mambo Jambo
  19. Dearly Beloved
  20. La Cucaracha
  21. Rooka Bongo Boogie
  22. Lady Of Spain
  23. Out Of Nowhere
  24. Brazil
Persuasive Percussion

"Persuasive Percussion", Command's initial release in 1959, was probably the first to put stereo discs on the map. It brought to light the startling musical aspects of stereo sound on records, and was considered a "starter" disc by new stereo purchasers. It sold half a million copies by 1961, thereafter averaging 150,000 sales per year, passing the million mark by 1965.

"Persuasive Percussion Volume 2" was released in 1960.

Terry Snyder, born in New York, started playing the drums at high school. He won a gold medal on graduation and a music scholarship. Starting work at 16, he played with big bands such as Paul Whiteman, Jimmy Dorsey and Benny Goodman before coming instrumentalist in 1943 on the Perry Como show, an association of long duration. Snyder did freelance work for almost every label in America on sessions conducted by most of the big names including Percy Faith, Hugo Winterhalter, Leonard Bernstein and Ralph Flanagan. He was one of the first exponents of "ping-pong" music, but his fame undoubtedly rests with his extremely successful "Persuasive Percussion" albums, made under the skilled direction of Command's 'Mister Stereo' Enoch Light. He died in 1963.

(From the original liner notes)

segunda-feira, 17 de dezembro de 2012

International Pop Orchestra - Christmas Favorites

  1. O Come All Ye Faithful
  2. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  3. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  4. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  5. Joy to the World
  6. Deck the Halls
  7. The First Noel
  8. Good King Wenceslaus
  9. O Holy Night
  10. We Three Kings of Orient Are
  11. Silent Night
Christmas Favorites

sábado, 15 de dezembro de 2012

The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Someday My Prince Will Come

  1. Someday My Prince Will Come
  2. One Moment (Brubeck)
  3. Joe's Blues (Brubeck / Morello)
  4. Take The 'A' Train
  5. Mexican Folk Songs (Brubeck)
  6. Three To Get Ready (Brubeck)
  7. Forty Days (Brubeck)
  8. Summer Song (Brubeck)
  9. These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)
Someday My Prince Will Come

Dave Brubeck, piano
Paul Desmond, alto sax
Gene Wright, bass
Joe Morello, drums
Gerry Mulligan, baritone sax (track 9)

Recorded live in Europe, 1965

In the 1940s a style in jazz developed that was to be called the 'cool' school or West Coast Jazz. Widely divergent musicians, like Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Gil Evans, Lennie Tristano, Boyd Raeburn and Dave Brubeck had one common goal in mind: expand the vocabulary of jazz with musical procedures that were traditionally exclusive to the classical field. Kenton's band started playing 'Artistry in Rhythm', based on Ravel's 'Daphne and Chloe', Igor Stravinsky composed 'Ebony Concerto' for Woody Herman's orchestra, Gil Evans arranged music for Claude Thornhill's band with an emphasis on sound, not on swing, and one could definitely trace the influence of the European impressionist composers.

Tristano, by the mid-40s one of the most thoroughly schooled musicians in jazz, attempted a revolution on his own by experimenting with forms and measures, surrounding himself with talented saxophonists like Lee Konitz and Warne Marshe. the Europanization of jazz reached a climax in 1949 when Gerry Mulligan, Gil Evans and John Carisi arranged music for a series of records that have gone down in history as the 'birth-of-the-cool' sides, featuring Miles Davis as the main soloist. The low-key, undramatic manner of playing, the limited dynamics, the moderate tempos and the introverted moods will established 'cool jazz' as a new school.

Dave Brubeck (1920 - 2012) also attempted to find a way out of the impasse that existed in jazz at the end of the 1940s. Like Lennie Tristano, Brubeck was musically trained at a conservatory: Brubeck had even studied theory with the great French composer Darius Milhaud at Mills College in Oakland. Brubeck tried to integrate the vitality and stylistic devices of jazz with the formal conventios of concert music, for instance by experimenting in arcane time signatures. Yet this marriage was not always a happy one. In his attempt to merge jazz with the mainstream of Western orchestral music, Brubeck exposed himself to the possibility of losing the one property of jazz which justifies its existence: its vigour. The jazz soloist is, after all, an impromptu composer, and the degree to which he can subordinate this talent to the notes on the printed sheet is problematical.

Brubeck organized the first Dave Brubeck Trio in 1949, and added Paul Desmond on tenor saxophone in 1951. The first classic Brubeck quartet developed with the addition of Joe Morello in 1956 and Gene Wright in 1958. The group remained together until 1967, when Brubeck decided to concentrate on composing. In the fifties Brubeck's quartet was immensely popular on college campuses. In 1959 Brubeck scored the first million seller in jazz with 'Take Five', a jazz instrumental with the very unusual time signature of 5/4.

This album contains a live concert of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, to which Gerry Mulligan contributes wonderfully on the standard song 'These Foolish Things'. the concert also features six original Brubeck compositions.

(Famke Damsté from the original liner notes)

In the 1950s and '60s, few American jazz artists were as influential, and fewer still were as popular, as Dave Brubeck. At a time when the cooler sounds of West Coast jazz began to dominate the public face of the music, Brubeck proved there was an audience for the style far beyond the confines of the in-crowd, and with his emphasis on unusual time signatures and adventurous tonalities, Brubeck showed that ambitious and challenging music could still be accessible. And as rock & roll began to dominate the landscape of popular music at the dawn of the '60s, Brubeck enjoyed some of his greatest commercial and critical success, expanding the audience for jazz and making it hip with young adults and college students. 

David Warren Brubeck was born in Concord, California on December 6, 1920. Brubeck grew up surrounded by music -- his mother was a classically trained pianist and his two older brothers would become professional musicians -- and he began receiving piano lessons when he was four years old. Brubeck showed an initial reluctance to learn to read music, but his natural facility for the keyboard and his ability to pick up melodies by ear allowed him to keep this a secret for several years. His father worked as a cattle rancher, and in 1932, his family moved from Concord to a 45,000-acre spread near the foothills of the Sierras. As a teenager, Brubeck was passionate about music and performed with a local dance band in his spare time, but he planned to follow a more practical career path and study veterinary medicine. However, after enrolling in the College of the Pacific in Stockton, California, Brubeck played piano in local night spots to help pay his way, and his enthusiasm for performing was such that one of his professors suggested he would be better off studying music. Brubeck followed this advice and graduated in 1942, though several of his instructors were shocked to learn that he still couldn't read music.  

Brubeck left college as World War II was in full swing, and he was soon drafted into the Army; he served under Gen. George S. Patton, and would have fought in the Battle of the Bulge had he not been asked to play piano in a Red Cross show for the troops. Brubeck was requested to put together a jazz band with his fellow soldiers, and he formed a combo called "the Wolfpack," a multi-racial ensemble at a time when the military was still largely segregated. Brubeck was honorably discharged in 1946, and enrolled at Mills College in Oakland, California, where he studied under the French composer Darius Milhaud. Unlike many composers in art music, Milhaud had a keen appreciation for jazz, and Brubeck began incorporating many of Milhaud's ideas about unusual time signatures and polytonality into his jazz pieces. In 1947, Brubeck formed a band with several other Mills College students, the Dave Brubeck Octet. However, the Octet's music was a bit too adventurous for the average jazz fan at the time, and Brubeck moved on to a more streamlined trio with Cal Tjader on vibes and percussion and Ron Crotty on bass. Brubeck made his first commercial recordings with this trio for California's Fantasy Records, and while he developed a following in the San Francisco Bay Area, a back injury Brubeck received during a swimming accident prevented him from performing for several months and led him to restructure his group. 

In 1951, the Dave Brubeck Quartet made their debut, with the pianist joined by Paul Desmond on alto sax; Desmond's easygoing but adventurous approach was an ideal match for Brubeck. While the Quartet's rhythm section would shift repeatedly over the next several years, in 1956 Joe Morello became their permanent drummer, and in 1958, Eugene Wright took over as bassist. By this time, Brubeck's fame had spread far beyond Northern California; Brubeck's recordings for Fantasy had racked up strong reviews and impressive sales, and along with regular performances at jazz clubs, the Quartet began playing frequent concerts at college campuses across the country, exposing their music to a new and enthusiastic audience that embraced their innovative approach. Brubeck and the Quartet had become popular enough to be the subject of a November 8, 1954 cover story in Time Magazine, only the second time that accolade had been bestowed on a jazz musician (Louis Armstrong made the cover in 1949). In 1955, Brubeck signed with Columbia Records, then America's most prestigious record company, and his first album for the label, Brubeck Time, appeared several months later.  

A steady stream of live and studio recordings followed as the Dave Brubeck Quartet became the most successful jazz act in the United States, and in 1959, they released one of their most ambitious albums yet, Time Out, a collection of numbers written in unconventional time signatures, such as 5/4 and 9/8. While Columbia were initially reluctant to release an album they felt was too arty for the mainstream, their fears proved groundless -- Time Out became the first jazz album to sell a million copies, and in 1961, it bounded back into the charts when "Take Five" unexpectedly took off as a single, rising to 25 on the pop charts and five on the adult contemporary survey. 

As Brubeck enjoyed increasing commercial success, he began exploring new musical avenues; in 1959, the Brubeck Quartet performed with the New York Philharmonic, performing "Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra," a piece written by Howard Brubeck, Dave's brother. Dave's own composition "Elementals," written for orchestra and jazz ensemble, debuted in 1962; "Elementals" was later adapted into a dance piece by choreographer Lar Lubovitch. And Brubeck and his wife, Iola, wrote a song cycle called "The Real Ambassadors" that celebrated the history of jazz while decrying racism; it was performed at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival, with contributions from Louis Armstrong, Carmen McRae, and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. the Brubeck Quartet also became international stars, with the State Department arranging for them to perform in locales rarely visited by jazz artists, including Poland, Turkey, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Sri Lanka.  

In 1967, Brubeck dissolved the Dave Brubeck Quartet and began devoting more time to composing longer works that often focused on his spiritual beliefs, including an oratorio for jazz ensemble and orchestra, "The Light in the Wilderness," which debuted in 1968; "The Gates of Justice," first performed in 1969, which melded passages from the Bible with the writings of Martin Luther King, and "Upon This Rock," which was written for Pope John Paul II's visit to San Francisco in 1987. Brubeck continued to perform in a more traditional jazz format as well, forming a new combo in 1968 featuring Jack Six on bass, Alan Dawson on drums, and Gerry Mulligan on baritone sax. In the '70s, Brubeck also toured with a group featuring his sons Darius (keyboards), Chris (bass and trombone), and Dan (drums); dubbed Two Generations of Brubeck, the ensemble performed a bracing fusion of jazz, rock, and blues. In 1976, Brubeck reassembled the classic lineup of the Dave Brubeck Quartet for a 25th anniversary tour; the reunion was cut short by the death of Paul Desmond in 1977. 

From the mid-'80s onward, Brubeck maintained a schedule that would befit a rising star eager to make a name for himself rather than a respected elder statesman. He continued to compose orchestral works as well as fresh jazz pieces, and recorded and performed on a regular basis with a variety of accompanists. Perhaps the most honored jazz artist of his generation, Brubeck received awards from two sitting United States Presidents -- Bill Clinton presented him with the National Medal of the Arts in 1994, and Barack Obama presented him with the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009. Brubeck also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a lifetime achievement Grammy from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian Medal, and honorary degrees from universities in five different countries, among many other awards for his life in music. When he died of heart failure late in 2012, just one day before his 92nd birthday, his life and his work were celebrated around the world.  

(By Mark Deming from allmusic.com)

Mantovani - Verzauberter Klang Aus Germany

  1. When The Lilacs Bloom Again (Wenn Der Weisse Flieder Wieder Bluht)
  2. Ich Tanze Mit Dir In Den Himmel Hinein
  3. Caprifischer
  4. You, You, You (Du, Du, Du)
  5. Melodia
  6. The Happy Wanderer (Der Frohliche Wanderer)
  7. A Walk In The Black Forest (Eine Schwarzwaldfahrt)
  8. The Summer Wind (Der Sommerwind)
  9. Mit Siebzehn Hat Man Noch Traume
  10. Junge, Komm Bald Wieder
  11. Heidschi Bumbeidschi
  12. Auf Wiedersehn
Verzauberter Klang Aus Germany

quinta-feira, 13 de dezembro de 2012

The Strings of Paris - Romantic Christmas Strings - Conducted by Jean Paul de la Tour

  1. Silent Night
  2. White Christmas
  3. O Come All Ye Faithful
  4. Winter Wonderland
  5. The First Noel
  6. We Three kings
  7. Sleigh Ride
  8. O Holy Night
  9. Jingle Bells
  10. The Holly And The Ivy
  11. Christmas Roses
  12. In Dulci Jubilo
  13. What Child Is This
  14. Little Drummer Boy
  15. Silver Bells
  16. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  17. The Christmas Song
  18. When A Child Is Born
  19. Deck The Halls
  20. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Christmas Strings

quarta-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2012

Living Guitars - Dedicated To The One I Love

  1. Somethin' Stupid
  2. This Is My Song
  3. Daddy's Little Girl
  4. Theme From 'The Quiller Memorandum'
  5. Dream Baby
  6. Casino Royale
  7. Let's Fall In Love
  8. California Nights
  9. Morningtown Ride
  10. Dedicated to The One I love
Dedicated To The One I Love

terça-feira, 11 de dezembro de 2012

The Somerset Strings - Music For Christmas At Home

  1. Sleigh Ride
  2. White Christmas
  3. Silent Night, Holy Night
  4. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
  5. Good King Wenceslas
  6. The First Nowell
  7. Jingle Bells
  8. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  9. Once In Royal David's City
  10. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
  11. Away In A Manger
  12. O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
Music For Christmas At Home

With the advent of the Christmas season, the ever-lovely songs return again, exultant, reverent and beautiful. Music is part of the very heart of Christmas, its truest sound, and the echoing of carols and hymns in the air is one of the most joyous manifestations of a joyous season. This program of Christmas music, drawing upon some of the most widely-popular melodies, consists of old favorites and new, all of them indivisible now from the wondrous spirit of the holiday.

Sleigh Ride, by Leroy Anderson, opens the program. This is the newest of the melodies in the collection, but already one of the most familiar. In its merry musical description of snowy fields and ringing sleigh bells, it is a natural descendant of Jingle Bells. Within the span of a very few years it has become ensconced as a tuneful and light-hearted summation of an old-fashioned Christmas.

White Christmas, by Irving Berlin, is one of the most extraordinary of popular songs. Almost from the year it was first heard - 1942 - it took its place among the great songs for Christmas, and it has never been equalled in its warmth of holiday sentiment. Neither a carol nor a hymn, White Christmas nevertheless has distilled within its music and lyrics much of the meaning of the season, with its good cheer, its open-heartedness, and its quiet beauty.

From Germany comes one of the most famous of all carols, the lovely Silent Night. The history of this carol is interesting it itself, for it represents genuine inspiration. In the little village of Oberndorf, in Bavaria, the organ of the Church of St. Nicholas had broken down, and special music had to be prepared for the Christmas services. Franz Gruber, organist of the church, wrote the music in only a few hours, and the words were supplied by Joseph Mohr, the vicar; the words were written first. The carol was first heard in a three-part arrangement, accompanied by a guitar. From that beginning, in 1818, the carol became a world-wide favorite, and remains as moving a description of Christmas as has ever been written.

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks, although not perhaps as famous as some of the other carols in this collection, is nevertheless a lovely and touching evocation of the Christmas spirit. The words, by Nahum Tate, were written in 1703, and it was set to music several times. The melody in this instance is by the great English composer Handel.

Good King Wenceslas is unique among carols in that it bears almost no relation to Christmas itself. The music was adapted from a Swedish Lutheran hymn, Piae Cantiones, which has been traced as far back into history as 1582. The words were set down by Dr. John Mason Neale, and tells the story of an incident in the life of King Wenceslas, King of Bohemia about 900 A.D.

The First Noel is a genuine folksong, which first appeared in print in 1833. The origins of this lovely carol are hidden in history, but traces of them have been found in French manuscripts dating from about 1500, and there are indications that it was popular during the seventeenth century.

Jingle Bells, one of the most rollicking of Christmas songs, is of American origin, and was written by J. S. Pierpont. No holiday season would be complete without this merry picture of sleighs 'dashing through the snow', and, apart from the carols themselves, no other melody so clearly establishes the cheerful mood of the season.

One of the most joyous of carols, and one with an interesting history, is Hark! the Herald Angels Sing. The words of this carol came first, when Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley, who founded the Methodist Church, wrote them in 1739. Then, about one hundred and one years later, Felix Mendelssohn wrote a cantata, "Festgesang", in which the melody appeared. And fifteen years later the words and the music were joined by Dr. W. H. Cummings, the organist of Waltham Abbey in England. The carol was sung in this form for the first time on Christmas day, and at once took its place among the best-loved of all time. So popular did it become that it entirely replaced the music that had previously been composed from the poem!

One of the less familiar carols in this group is Once in Royal David's City, a traditional song of wide appeal and enduring warmth. Some authorities ascribe it to nineteenth century origin, but in this transcription the traditional setting is used.

The words for It Came Upon the Midnight Clear were published in 1850 in the "Christian Register" by the Reverend Edmund Hamilton Sears. He later sent his poem to a friend, asking him to set it to music. This the friend did, and the melody is still occasionally heard. However another melody was composed in 1851 by Richard Willis, a Boston composer, who read the poem in another publication, and at once made his own setting for it, which is the one heard in this program. This is one of the relatively few carols of American origin that have gained world acceptance.

The most widely-known of the lullaby-type of carol is Away in a Manger, one of the most gracious and intimate of carols. Two somewhat different melodies have been given these words, of which that by Spilman, played here by The Somerset Strings, is perhaps in wider use.

The first extant copy of O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles) dates from 1751, although the music itself is much older. The translation used in most English-speaking countries was made in 1852. Often known as the "Portuguese Hymn", it has in fact no association with Portugal, but probably became thus known from its frequent performance at the Portuguese Chapel in London. Though so little is known about this great hymn, it is perhaps the most popular of all, and forms a fitting conclusion to this program of music for Christmas at home.

(From the original liner notes)

segunda-feira, 10 de dezembro de 2012

Nat King Cole - The Piano Style of Nat King Cole

  1. Love Walked In
  2. My Heart Stood Still
  3. Imagination
  4. I Never Knew
  5. Stella By Starlight
  6. What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry
  7. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
  8. Takin' A Chance On Love
  9. April In Paris
  10. I Want To Be Happy
  11. I See Your Face Before Me
  12. Just One Of Those Things
  13. I Get A Kick Out Of You
  14. If I Could Be With You
  15. I Hear Music
  16. Tea For Two
The Piano Style

Even though by the mid-'50s he'd already established himself as a multi-talented entertainer, this collection of piano-centric instrumentals would be the first full-length long-player that Nat King Cole issued during his two-plus decades on Capitol Records. Released in 1956, the appropriately titled The Piano Style of Nat King Cole contains a whopping (by mid-'50s standards at least) 16 tracks. Half of the material finds the artist supported by a large band and the other with a warm, cozy string section. And making a great thing almost sinful is that the entire effort is orchestrated and conducted by the peerless Nelson Riddle. True to the nature of artist and arranger alike, the project is filled with traditional pop tunes straight out of the Great American Songbook. While the melodies are familiar, each is given a unique sonic stamp. Gershwin's "Love Walked In" provides nothing short of a sublime start as Cole trades elegant leads with the lushly appointed backing ensemble. By contrast, "My Heart Stood Still" bursts forth bearing a joyous jazzy groove that can barely be contained within Cole's blissful runs up and down the ivories. Once again mellowing the tempo is the classy and romantic refinement of a simmering "Imagination," which melts beneath the delicate drizzle of Cole's keys. This stylistic compromise continues as the friskier and decidedly upbeat "I Never Knew," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," and "Taking a Chance on Love" perfectly temper the tender yet impassioned "April in Paris" and "I See Your Face Before Me." Likewise, the sultry blues "If I Could Be with You (One Hour Tonight)" should not be missed. The frenetic "I Want to Be Happy" and equally energetic "Just One of Those Things" stand out from the rest. Cole nimbly reels off some of his most accomplished keyboarding to date, all the while guiding the big band into a spirited musical repartee. [In 2007, Collectors' Choice Music paired The Piano Style of Nat King Cole with Cole's non-vocal predecessor, Penthouse Serenade from 1955, onto a double-play CD that maxes out in excess of 80 minutes.] 

(By Lindsay Planer from allmusic.com)

sexta-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2012

Living Guitars - Flamingo and Other Favorites

  1. Flamingo
  2. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
  3. Mas Que Nada
  4. Wallpaper Roses
  5. A Thousand Guitars
  6. Green Grass
  7. Love Letters
  8. There Will Never Be Another You
  9. I've Got You Under My Skin
  10. Hawaii (Main Title)

quarta-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2012

Living Strings - At A Sidewalk Cafe - Arranged and conducted by Johnny Douglas

  1. Que reste-t-il de nos amours ?
  2. Lili Marlene
  3. Du Du Liegst Mir im Herzen
  4. Medley: Play, Fiddle, Play; Hungarian Dance No. 4 in E Minor
  5. Auf Wiederseh'n, Sweetheart
  6. My Heart Cries for You
  7. J'attendrai
  8. You Can't Be True, Dear
  9. Hi-LiLi, Hi-Lo
  10. Medley: Vienna, My City of Dreams; Blue Danube Waltz
At A Sidewalk Cafe

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