A Christmas Choral Spectacular - Peter Breiner
Classical - Vocal
"A Christmas Choral Spectacular"
Cecily Atkinson (alto)
Lynton Atkinson (tenor)
Margaret Burdett (soprano)
Jonathan Prentice (bass)
Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Orchestra
Peter Breiner (conductor)
This glorious collection of carols old and new brings a touch of glamour to the holiday season, with Peter Breiner's lavish arrangements for choir and orchestra adding a fresh twist to familiar festive melodies. Breiner's own Christmas carols complete the celebration.
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Review by John Broggio - December 6, 2005
Just a quick review here - nothing to detain anyone for long.
Quite frankly, Naxos and BSO should be ashamed of being associated with such a project. The orchestral contribution is well played but that is about the only positive thing I can find to say about this disc.
The title "A Christmas Choral Spectular" gives about half of the picture; namely that it is spectacular in a quite obscene way. If this was a picture book recording, the people would all be extremely obese and the spectacle would be of the freak show variety such are the ridiculous extravagance and insensitive arrangements. To list only one example is hard but Silent Night has a constantly moving bass line that prevents any sense of repose - surely the one carol that requires a calm atmosphere.
The performances from the choral participants are not at all good (but given the arrangements, I can't really blame them) and the alto soloist (I shall refrain from embarrassing her) should never have been asked to sing the opening contributions to O little town of Bethlehem (nor agreed to do it) as her intonation and tone are both lacking any sense of confidence.
The recording itself is at best largely inoffensive but this is spoiled by some extremely shoddy edits in the opening number where the bells that were going Ding Dong quite happily suddenly get shorn of all resonance.
Not recommended and a wasted spend of my hard earned money.
Copyright © 2005 John Broggio and HRAudio.net