Marvelous Music in Magnificent Settings
Bill Egan | Florida USA | 10/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"YOUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS CAROLS is a wonderful DVD to play during the Christmas season. You can play it as background music while taking part in holiday activities, but it's even better if there's a total visual and aural involvement.
YOUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS CAROLS features a superb selection of 30 carols though they don't exactly conform to the title. Many of them really are favorites but there's also a good mix of not-so-familiar carols that may easily be moved up to the favorite list once you experience this DVD.
The 90 minute program featuring performances by British, American, and Irish choirs and soloists was filmed in magnificent cathedrals and fascinating neighborhoods in London, Galway, Dublin, and Somerset.
The West Point Cadet Glee Club is featured on O COME, O COME EMMANUEL and LO! HOW A ROSE E'ER BLOOMING, filmed during a concert tour of the British Isles. A Celtic band plays a lively version of DING DONG MERRILY ON HIGH. Some of the lesser-known selections include THE ZITHER CAROL, WINTER WINDS (Etude by Chopin), THE CROWN OF ROSES (Tchaikovsky), and UP! GOOD CHRISTIAN FOLK, AND LISTEN.
The cathedrals and towns are beautifully photographed and there is wonderfully unique staging that makes good use of the ancient stone architectural elements.
Outstanding soloists include Eireann James - ROCKING (a Czech carol), Christine McCabe - SILENT NIGHT, and Dennis O'Neill - AVE MARIA (Bach). My favorite soloist is Catherine Coates who sings several arias in a segment devoted to selections from Handel's MESSIAH. I heard her on a concert tour of the U.S. several years ago and this DVD captures her glorious voice as well as her Irish beauty.
This compilation of TV broadcasts from Christmases past is a perfect Christmas gift for someone else or from you to you.