A String Quartet Christmas, Vols. 1-3
If ever a season called for music in the home, it is Christmas. In the days before recordings, members of the household, invariably proficient on one instrument or another, would play music together - both for their own enjoyment and to set a festive mood. The arrangements in this audiophile set from Arturo Delmoni, meticulously produced by John Marks, hearken back to those earlier days. And in that tradition of music-making, the modern household may well be inspired to sing along.
"A three-disc set that features excellent performers, including violinist Arturo Delmoni and cellist Nathaniel Rosen, and a huge chunk of holiday fare. These recordings were available separately in years past, but are gathered together now in a neat package... This is a perfect product for anyone wanting to bring it down a little -- in this case, a whole lot, really -- and focus purely on the melodic beauty inspired by Christmas Time... The arrangements are sensitive, the playing really first-class. To vary the sonic flavor of a string quartet, there are occasional appearances of harp and organ. There are two dozen or so carols and other items per disc, covering many centuries and mixing the well-known with the rare and surprising. Among the surprises is an arrangement for violin and organ of the haunting Adagio from Alessandro Marcello's Oboe Concerto, which, somehow, takes on a reverential, Christmas Eve-like feeling in this context. " -- Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun
"A first-class string quartet plays tasteful arrangements … in refreshingly ungimmicky style. Warmly recommended for those who like the tunes better than the words." -- The Washington Post
"A simple string quartet breathes new life into Christmas classics … brings out the natural beauty in the songs of Christmas. This album will substitute nicely if you won’t be having a live string quartet at this year’s Christmas party." -- The Christian Science Monitor
Catalog Number: STNS50001
Composer: Alessandro Marcello, Anonymous, Antony Hopkins, Charles Gounod, Franz Schubert, Franz Xaver Gruber, Georges Bizet, Gilbert M. Martin, Gustav Holst, Hector Berlioz, Heinrich Isaac, Henry John Gauntlett, Henry Walford Davies, James Hopkirk, Johann Georg Ebeling, Johann Sebastian Bach, John Francis Wade, John Ness Beck, John Rutter, Lowell Mason, Marcel Tournier, Michael Praetorius, Mykola Leontovych, Paul-Henri Büsser, Richard Storrs Willis, Samuel Scheidt, Traditional, William James Kirkpatrick
Performer: Alexander Romanul, Arturo Delmoni, Danielle Maddon, Ellen DePasquale, Emily Mitchell, Katherine Murdock, Natasha Lipkina, Nathaniel Rosen, Nina Bodnar, Rafael Figueroa, Timothy Smith