A myHT Fortress

Thursday, December 6, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 13 - Mannheim Steamroller: A Fresh Aire Christmas

When I think of Christmas music from my college days, I instantly think of Mannheim Steamroller.  Chip Davis is a talented man in the realm of synthesized music, an area which may offend many of my dear friends who go beyond the virtual and play conventional instruments.  Still, it is a good series of albums.  If space permits in this series, I may return for one of the others, but today I have selected "A Fresh Aire Christmas."

The album starts off with "Hark! The Herald Trumpets Sing," a triumphant piece that serves a sort of Lutheran idea of "prelude" for the next track, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

Chip Davis has great accompanying notes with the disc.  He tells the story of "Veni, Veni."  He had heard "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," and thought that it would sound fabulous in Latin, like a bunch of monks chanting it.  He asked a friend to begin the task of translating it into Latin, when the friend started laughing, telling him the ancient song's origin.

"The Holly and the Ivy" is a great piece that sounds very medieval, like flute or recorders with a lute.

"In Dulci Jubilo" is a highlight for the disc, with the sound of drums, flute, and bells.  It very much sounds like a Renaissance-era dance.  It very much has the feel of the "Sweet Jubilation" of which it sings!

Only one track on the entire album is not sacred: "Traditions of Christmas," yet even that is classical-sounding, soothing, and sweet.

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