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|Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends
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With Musical Gifts, world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell imagines friends coming to his home during the holiday and joining in on songs that celebrate the warmth, beauty and magic of the season. Following the concept of his critically acclaimed 2009 album, At Home with Friends, Bell is paired with a variety of special guests including Gloria Estefan, Alison Krauss, Kristin Chenoweth, trumpeter Chris Botti, jazz greats Chick Corea and Branford Marsalis, opera stars Plácido Domingo and Renée Fleming, Michael Feinstein and a cappella group Straight No Chaser. "I wanted to capture the feeling and celebration of the holidays and that spirit of December," says Bell. Musical Gifts combines Bell's distinctive violin playing with fresh new takes on popular holiday songs. "I love the idea of celebrating music in ways different from how it was originally written, bringing in new arrangements and creating new repertoire."
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Brand: Andrea Bocelli
2009 holiday release, the first Christmas album from the superstar vocalist. Includes duets with Reba McEntire, Natalie Cole, Mary J. Blige and The Muppets. Millions will rejoice this holiday season with the much-anticipated release of Andrea Bocelli's, My Christmas. The album is a heart-warming collection of songs destined to become a holiday classic for years to come. Produced by the legendary Grammy-Award winner David Foster, the CD features the singer's unmistakable soaring vocals alongside duets with his special guests.
|The Christmas Collection
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If you thrill to the soaring operatic voices of The Three Tenors (and imagine every Christmas comes with its own orchestral majesty), Il Divo has made this disc for you. The four GQ-handsome male singers were handpicked by American Idol's Simon Cowell for what seems to be their ability to sing opera and classical music with the hint of a pop sensibility. Their Christmas Collection features 10 standards (although the last time Santa looked, he wasn't quite sure "Over the Rainbow" and "The Lord's Prayer" were part of the Christmas canon). Still, it' hard not to imagine these emotionally stirring renditions as part and parcel of the reverential treatment the four finely sculpted voices bring to more exact seasonal fare such as "O Holy Night," "Ave Maria," "Panis Angelicus" and even "White Christmas." Dave Arch's predictable choral and orchestral arrangements are aimed right at the sweet spot where sophisticated church choir music and traditional classical music meet, with few surprises other than the dash of Irish folk music that colors "When A Child Is Born." In the end, for people who have never heard of Cowell and his cohosts (would Paula Abdul really have picked the tenor guy for this group?!), this collection will prove just as rewarding for them as the best-selling Idol records are for fans of the TV stars. --Martin Keller
|Dreams Of Fireflies (On A Christmas Night)
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5 Tracks, Jewelcase
|On a Cold Winter's Day: Early Christmas Music & Carols From The British Isles
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|Home for the Holidays
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Andre Rieu, together with his Johann Strauss Orchestra, featured soloists, and choir celebrate the most romantic time of the year with 14 holiday classics. The Modern Maestro presents the heartening Silent Night, Ave Maria and O Come All Ye Faithful as well as unforgettable renditions of all-time favorites like Silver Bells and White Christmas. A highlight in the program is the premier of Andre Rieu's own composition December Lights, sure to become an instant classic. Home For The Holidays is a treat for fans of Andre Rieu, a wonderful display of classical music, and a feast of holiday entertainment for the whole family.
|Advent at Ephesus
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The first of its kind, charged with joy, and graced with angelic blend of voices, this new release captures in song the spirit of hope and expectation of Advent.
This unique CD is recorded by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles: a young, monastic order of Sisters located in rural Missouri, dedicated to prayer for priests. Advent at Ephesus includes an amazing variety of traditional Latin and English hymns, polyphony, Gregorian Chant, medieval harmonies and an original piece to prayerfully lead you through the sacred season in preparation for Christmas.
Advent is perhaps the most neglected season, but remains one of the most treasured by the sisters here at the Priory of Our Lady of Ephesus. The Liturgical year has reached its dramatic close with the Feast of Christ the King and a series of meditations on the Last Judgment. While lamps remain lit in our hearts for the final coming of the Lord, (track 14) a milder tenor creeps into the voice of the Church as Advent begins a new year, and attention is also given to the coming of the Infant Christ into the world (tracks 1, 6, and 13.) The Annunciation (tracks 3, 5 and 8) the cry of the Baptist (track 12) and the expectation of Our Lady (tracks 11, 16, and 17) are all leitmotifs that repeatedly occur in the chants and the Divine Office. The
nightly antiphon to Our Lady changes from the familiar Salve Regina to the gentle Alma Redemptoris Mater, honoring her motherhood (tracks 2, 15.) A bold, melancholy tone of impatience is joined to those of the prophets and chosen people who waited for the Lords coming for centuries (tracks 7, 9.) Yet there also remains a sustained strain of gaudium, the interior joy characteristic of Advent that lends its name to the Third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday. (Track 10, Offertory of Gaudete Sunday.)
The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles is a monastic community located in rural Missouri. Consecrated
to the Queen of Apostles, their lives are dedicated to contemplative prayer especially for priests. They support
themselves primarily by making priestly vestments. Professing obedience to the Churchs teaching, the community upholds
a loving commitment to preserving the liturgical heritage of the Church in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass
and traditional monastic Office. This is their first recording with de Montfort Music and Decca records.
|#1 Christmas Album
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|Passione [Deluxe Edition]
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List price: $19.98
Filled with romance and beauty, "Passione" is a lush collection of Mediterranean love songs featuring duets with global pop stars Jennifer Lopez, Nelly Furtado, and the late Edith Piaf. The album reunites Bocelli with 16-time Grammy Award-winning producer David Foster, who produced Bocelli's 2006 release "Amore," which sold more than 4.2 million copies.
"Passione" is in essence the second volume of "Amore," with a "fil rouge" which ideally connects the albums. As with "Amore," which featured timeless masterworks, "Passione" includes several beloved classics such as "Love Me Tender," "Girl From Ipanema," and "Sarà Settembre," (better known to English-speaking audiences as Neil Diamond's "September Morn"). Jennifer Lopez is featured on the soft and sensual track "Quizás Quizás Quizás" and Nelly Furtado joins Bocelli on "Corcovado." The album also features a duet with the late French chanteuse Edith Piaf on the song "La Vie En Rose."
On the album, Bocelli sings in six languages (Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Neapolitan) with his unmistakable voice, as Foster accompanies him on piano, along with Peruvian guitarist Ramon Stagnaro. The sensual sound is rounded out by Cuban, Brazilian, and Portuguese rhythms and a 63-piece orchestra recorded in London.
"Andrea continues to be my favorite singer of all time," Foster declares. "I pride myself on working with great voices, but he transcends that. He's a singer for all people, from the common man to the Pope."
Bocelli is an iconic figure in music with a myriad of breathtaking career achievements to his name. The Italian tenor is the most successful classical solo artist ever and one of the best-selling artists in music history, period, with more than 80 million albums sold worldwide. He is also credited with enabling the core classical repertoire to cross over and find a home atop the international pop charts, creating a new genre of music along the way. He has performed for four U.S. presidents, two popes, and the British royal family, as well as at ceremonies for the Olympic Games and the World Cup. He has been praised by such luminaries as Luciano Pavarotti, Franco Corelli (his beloved teacher and guide), Zubin Mehta, José Carreras, Lorin Maazel, Renée Fleming, and Celine Dion.
- BOCELLI ANDREA PASSIONE (EDICION DE LUJO)
|Angels Sing: Christmas in Ireland
Lowest new price: $12.61
List price: $18.99
This Christmas, boy choir super-group Libera bring their angelic voices and inspiring music to the holiday season with a new CD and DVD: Angels Sing - Christmas in Ireland. The program features beloved carols old and new, sacred and secular, joyful and tender - all recorded live in the radiant ambiance of St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh, Ireland. This inspiring concert features favorites such as 'Carol of the Bells,' 'Joy to the World,' 'Silent Night,' 'Danny Boy' and more, and the DVD also contains behind-the-scenes documentary extras. Six of the tracks are previously unreleased, and the remaining songs all feature brand-new arrangements made especially for this recording.
The distinctive music of Libera has traveled the world, with chart-topping albums and sold-out performances across the globe. The group has performed in front of the Pope during a visit to Yankee Stadium and at the Kennedy Center during a ceremony honoring Beach Boy Brian Wilson. Their signature sound shimmering, mystical chords and harmonies atop traditional and electronic instruments has captured the hearts of music lovers everywhere, and their passionate, dedicated fan base (including over 5 million YouTube views) attest to the enduring power and appeal of this unique group.
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