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Noel [CASSETTE] [Import]

Joan Baez Audio Cassette
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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How do you build a narrative for a story as rich and multifaceted as the life of Joan Baez? Baez herself is not especially inclined to introspection, or to the backwards glance. Often wrongly perceived as a naïve idealist, she is, in her own distinctive way, a pragmatist to the core with her eyes fixed squarely on what’s right in front of her. As an activist, she has viewed her life ... Read more in Amazon's Joan Baez Store

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (8 Dec 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • ASIN: B000000EJ6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

1. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
2. Coventry Carol
3. Good King Wenceslas
4. Little Drummer Boy
5. I Wonder as I Wander
6. Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella
7. Down in Yon Forest
8. Carol of the Birds
9. Angels We Have Heard on High
10. Ave Maria (Sung in German)
11. Mary's Wandering
12. Deck the Halls
13. Away in a Manger
14. Adeste Fidelis
15. Cantique de NoŽl (Oh Holy Night, Sung in German)
16. What Child Is This?
17. Silent Night

Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stately and atmospheric 12 Feb 2005
Format:Audio CD
On this stately and sometimes sombre work, Joan Baez is backed by traditional instruments like recorders, viols, lute, pipe organ, strings and harpsichord. The intention was to make the sound reminiscent of the various periods in which the carols were written. Noel is thus completely different from her 1960s folk recordings with the prominent acoustic guitar.

Her voice is pristine and the arrangements outstanding, especially on tracks like Little Drummer Boy and Ave Maria (a classical arrangement, sung in German). The songs are interspersed with short instrumental like Good King Wenceslas, Bring A Torch, Deck The Halls, Angels We Have Heard On High and Adeste Fidelis, that add to the medieval mood of the album.

There is plenty of variety though, as for example the mournful Mary's Wandering is followed by the brief instrumental Deck The Halls and that, in turn, by her beautiful soulful version of Away In A Manger with its gripping harpsichord sounds. Baez' voice really soars on Cantique De NoŽl and What Child Is This, whilst Silent Night receives a tender and subdued treatment.

One of my favourites is The First NoŽl with its powerful, uptempo arrangement. This wonderful album concludes with a beautiful French version of Away In A Manger. The overall atmosphere is reverent and devotional rather than joyful and festive, which makes NoŽl an exception amongst Christmas albums.

The CD booklet includes the history of the making of the album by arranger Peter Schickerle, the original liner notes and some lovely photos of Joan, including the cover of the original vinyl LP. NoŽl was a surprise for me as a long-time Baez fan since the sound is so different from both her early folk work and her later art song material.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SEASONAL CHEER 7 May 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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5.0 out of 5 stars Noel. By Joan Baez 12 July 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I ordered this CD to replace my old Vinyl record. The sound is just as good
And of course has no scratches on it.
Received it in about the right amount of time at a reasonable cost.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Use as a kid and I still love it 21 Feb 2013
By E. Hood
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is not electronic but pure guitar recorder the instrument and not an all singing choir pop rock dance electric keyboards drum machines synths Xmas album.

Joan baez Voice is out front. guitar drums lightly and recorder. I can't describe it. If you love Joan Baez then worth it. If not but love Xmas albums and want something a little different buy it.

I listened to it as a kid all of 40 years ago and loved it then and I still love it now. For me and my taste the best Xmas album ever. Love love love it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get Remastered version of "Noel" instead of this CD 5 Sep 2004
By E. A. Lovitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Joan Baez has the perfect voice for these lovely old (or seemingly old) Christmas carols---a plangent, high, pure soprano. Only her fast vibrato keeps her from being mistaken for a Vienna choir boy.

It was eerie to hear her sing these carols again on CD, almost forty years after I first heard them on vinyl. In that decades-long interval, no one has ever managed to sing "The Little Drummer Boy" without sounding saccharine and/or lachrymose. I grew to despise the "rump bump bump bums" that resounded every Christmas season through elevators and K-Marts---until I heard Joan sing the song again. Somehow her straightforward presentation, with medieval-sounding accompaniment make this 1940's chestnut into a haunting Childe ballad.

This CD has a good mix of traditional carols, and some that may sound unfamiliar, e.g. "Down in Yon Forrest."

If you buy the remastered version of "NoŽl" rather than this CD, you will get six extra songs: "The First Noel," "We Three Kings (instrumental)," "Virgin Mary," "Good Christian Kings (instrumental)," "Burgundian Carol," and "Away In a Manger (French)."
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Xmas Voice 18 Dec 2001
By Michael Barton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Yes, Joan Baez is a great singer of Christmas songs too. And why not? Even if your not a fan of all of her work, there's no doubt she has the voice of an angel! And this is the perfect album on which to hear that voice as it was recorded in 1966, when Joan's voice was at it's loveliest. If your looking for a simple Christmas album, not overproduced, featuring your favorite carols sung in a passionate, powerful manner this one is for you.
Especially beautiful are Joan's versions of "I Wonder as I Wander", "What Child is This", and an incredible, "Silent Night."
This will quickly become one of your favorite Christmas Albums.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giving Christmas back its magic 6 Oct 2002
By Cinnamon Blues - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
For those who do not believe in Santa Claus any longer, here you have every reason to believe in Joan Baez. And in the sacral, beyond-religion, magical feeling and warmth that is the real spirit of Christmas. This is truly the most beautiful Christmas music that I have ever heard. I never tire it out! Mysterious arrangments that wrap around Joan's crystal voice like cobwebs and make you doubt that you have heard any of these carols before. It makes you listen. Close your eyes, wander through dim and strange landscapes, let Joan guide you back to plastic-fantastic-land, and feel that you've been there, that you know what it's all about. Then smile.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!! 26 Aug 2003
By J. Yates - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I grew up loving this album on LP. It brings back a lot of memories as my favorite record to listen too. Joan Biaz has a woderful voice and displays it in an absolutely beautiful way on this album... A must have!!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exquisite 23 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is one of our favorite Christmas albums. It is breathstoppingly beautiful and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Buy this cd if you love beautiful old carols.
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