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A Midwinter Night's Dream

Loreena McKennitt Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: £10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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A Midwinter Night's Dream + An Ancient Muse + Book of Secrets
Price For All Three: £36.86

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Nov 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Quinlan Road
  • ASIN: B001FRNOG4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,955 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Holly & The Ivy
2. Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle
3. The Seven Rejoices Of Mary
4. Noel Nouvelet!
5. Good King Wenceslas
6. Coventry Carol
7. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
8. Snow
9. Breton Carol
10. Seeds Of Love
11. Gloucestershire Wassail
12. Emmanuel
13. In The Bleak Midwinter

Product Description

Traditional with a twist: Loreena celebrates the season with a new CD that blends the five songs from 'A Winter Garden' (1995) with eight new recordings inspired by seasonal favourites. Look for some delightful musical surprises in 'A Midwinter Night's Dream', including Loreena's first recording in French and her exotic interpretation of 'The Holly And The Ivy.'

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars God rest ye merry 16 Jan 2009
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Consider Loreena McKennitt's latest album to be a natural expansion of her exquisite Yuletide EP, "A Winter Garden."

In fact, McKennitt includes four of those five songs on the sumptuously melancholy Christmas album "A Midwinter Night's Dream." These medieval ballads and traditional carols are soaked in an ambience of nighttime woods, embroidered tapestries, wassail and Christmas mass in a shadowy cathedral. No syrupy shopping carols -- this is Christmas music from an earlier age.

It opens with a swell of piano and quivering strings, as McKennitt murmurs, "The holly and the ivy/when they are full grown/of all the trees in the wood/the holly bears the crown... the rising of the sun/the running of the deer/the playing of the organ/sweet singing in the choir...."

It's a suitable introduction to the album -- quiet, soft, and redolent with medieval Christianity alongside the forest's powerful vibrancy. And it quickly segues into the stately fiddle-riddled dance of "Un Flambeau Jeannette Isabelle," the languid hymn "The Seven Rejoices Of Mary" and the swaying "NoŽl Nouvelet!"

Then she heads into more familiar traditional fare -- the sprightly "Good King Wenceslas," the gentle lullably "Coventry Carol" with its tale of King Herod's baby massacre, and staccato rhythms of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen." After that it's a mixture of well-known and more obscure -- a pair mellow haunting instrumentals, a bittersweet ballad a trembling string rendition of the traditional "Emmanuel," and even a hearty wassailing song.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Right for Christmas 25 Nov 2008
By Michael F. Freer VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Loreena always has difficulty in pleasing ALL of her fans because of her 'landmark' albums, 'The Book of Secrets' and 'The Mask & the Mirror'. However, she delivers yet again with this album, which is a thoughtful mixture of old and new.

It is so atmospheric and if you only want to buy one new album for Christmas this is the one. It is wonderful to relax to. Thank you Loreena for entering our lives.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely. 20 Oct 2009
By S. Lindgren VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I'd go on, but I've run out of superlatives for Loreena McKennitt. She is by far my favourite female recording artist, so admittedly, I'm biased, but I really do love this disc. An expansion on her earlier EP (A Winter Garden), it is a beautifully recorded and performed selection of seasonal material which would bring pleasure to a Scrooge with dyspepsia. Loreena's vocals just seem to get better (and yes, she is just as good live), her musicians are all at the top of their game, and the result is a collection that spans genres from traditional to humourous to haunting. Sit back and feel the years roll away. I thought about mentioning my favourites, but then realised I'd have to talk at length about the whole album, as there are no weak links at all. I bought three copies last year, one for myself and two as presents for relatives who have since started buying all of Loreena's other recordings. No great surprise there.

If I have one criticism of this particular edition, it would be with the packaging. Yes, it's very pretty indeed, but a snowy-white outer card sleeve with a matt finish, and an intricate cut-out is not the most practical I've ever encountered, and even if you are very careful, is next to impossible to keep completely clean. Still, it's the music that is important, and here, this album excels. If you're considering buying it, do so. You will not regret your decision for one moment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A seasonal delight. 31 Oct 2008
Format:Audio CD
Here I am reviewing the "Deluxe" set.
This set boasts the quite superfluous addition of a couple of postcards and some rather twee Christmas decorations. Hardly worth getting excited about, but harmless enough.
The CD in the set is basically a very expanded version of her "A Winter's Garden" CD.
A variety of traditional seasonal songs are performed in Ms McKennitt's unique and definitive style all in that distinctive World/Celtic style.
A delight to listen to, it presents carols and other seasonal music performed on a variety of fascinating 'ethnic' instruments. Carols and other seasonal music - some well known and others less familiar are given a considerable shake-up whilst retaining their fundamental nature.
For instance a very 'ethnic' "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman".
Other popular carols/songs given the McKennitt treatment are: "The Holly and the Ivy", "Good King Wenceslas" and "In The Bleak Midwinter".
Less well know (perhaps) are "Noel Nouvelet" and "Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle"

The DVD is a Tour Guide Documentary with 3 live complete performances - "The Gates of Istanbul", "The Highwayman" and "Never Ending Road".
Good performance and nice to have and the documentary is fairly interesting.

It is a nice set and a good addition to my McKennitt collection; however I might have been just as happy with the CD only version.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical 2 Nov 2008
Format:Audio CD
This is a beautiful selection of Christmas carols and songs sung by the unusual and ethereal Mc Kennitt,atomospheric and haunting.

Buy this and curl up next to the fire ,its gorgeous,and check out the rest of her work - you wont regret it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars ... times as Loreena tends to be but still some good tracks. Prefer...
Bit overwrought at times as Loreena tends to be but still some good tracks. Prefer her short Xmas cd.
Published 2 months ago by Samhaingeal
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice product
A very interesting document with comments

I like very well Loreena's music and voice and the DVD performance is useful
Published 11 months ago by Didier DUCHON
5.0 out of 5 stars A Midwinter Feast for the ears.
While some of the annual festive favourites from the glam rock era may have become Christmas classics in the UK, this splendid collection by Loreena McKennitt, is in my view,... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Felicity Morte
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous yuletide album
This is definitely my all-time favourite Christmas album. Loreena's ethereal voice, beautiful arrangements masterfully played and beautifully recorded. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mr. R. Caley
4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting seasonal album
Loreena McKennitt always delivers very accomplished and polished recordings and her 8th studio album, "A Midwinter Night's Dream" is no exception to the rule. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Amillionmiles
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Gift
Its like opening a present on Christmas morning even to having to snip the red band to open the box. Read more
Published on 6 Nov 2011 by Richard
4.0 out of 5 stars So nice
Nice music from Lorenna, maybe not one of her bests but is a good one. Lovely season music, it is a review of a preview album, so there's some already heard songs with some new... Read more
Published on 26 Dec 2010 by Nabil
5.0 out of 5 stars On the nail
I've been listening to this cd in the car with the frost and snow wonderland we are having at the moment. It's perfect. Read more
Published on 1 Dec 2010 by Ca
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm the Heart on a Cold Winters Night
A wonderful collection of carols and songs to celebrate winter and all the magic this special season can bring. Read more
Published on 4 Nov 2010 by dulcinea
4.0 out of 5 stars Great music & entertaining documentary
A Midwinter Night's Dream is a CD, A Moveable Musical Feast is a DVD.
A great CD. And if you like it ... 'The Mask and Mirror' is even better! Read more
Published on 3 May 2010 by dromer
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