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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars122
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 November 2004
This is the best compilation I know of Christmas classical 'lollipops'. There are three sleigh-rides (Leroy Anderson's, Frederick Delius's, and Sergei Prokofiev's 'Troika', the latter popularised many years ago in the Sauter-Finnegan arrangement); three excerpts from Hely-Hutchinson's Carol Symphony, including the enchanting arrangement of 'The First Nowell' which the BBC used as the signature-tune to its dramatisation of Masefield's 'The Box of Delights', both in its original radio Children's Hour version and in its much later TV version; Adam's delightful 'Cantique de Noel' and Bach's reflective 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring'; and a well-chosen selection of choral and orchestral carols.
Just two criticisms - the Bacchanale from Glazunov's 'The Seasons' (well-known as the theme-music for the London Marathon), whilst being wonderfully exhilarating and sounding as if it should belong to Winter (as stated), was in fact written for Autumn; and how can you have a 'Classic Christmas' with no Handel?
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on 16 January 2009
This is the very best Christmas Album possible. All the pieces are well played and sung and the selection of items is just perfet. I play this every year when I decorate my tree and it has become part of the very fabric of my Christmas. Once this album is out then Christmas has begun. I was so pleased when it was recently re-released as I could finally buy copies for all my friends. Very highly recommended - if you only have one Christmas album then make sure it's this one!!!
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on 27 December 2004
Ive had this cd for sometime. I must have bought in its first incarnation. This was also a surprise buy because I was looking hard for a good xmas cd at the time. I saw it. Heard it in the cd booth, & bought it!! Its one of the best xmas cds around. Go buy you will not be disappointed!!
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on 7 October 2008
This CD is a delight capturing the sparkle and fun of Xmas. It is light classical music at its very best. I play Troika and I know the festive season has begun.
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on 12 November 2009
Troika, Sleigh Ride and In Dulci Jubilo are just 3 of 20 tracks on this super Christmas compilation. It always makes me feel Christmassy and we've owned it for years - originally had it on tape!
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on 21 December 2001
I have tried to buy this again for two years and I am thrilled it has been re-released. The CD is filled with many classical tunes that featured as THE Christmas TV tunes in my childhood and teens e.g. the Timex advert. Great tunes combined with good artists and best of all, not what you hear playing in all the supermarkets! A truely "Classey" classic that I would recommend to anyone who likes good music.
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on 27 December 2009
Since buying this CD, it has been played throughout the festive period. The recordings are joyous and combine some sombre tunes amongst the cheerful classics. I usually like pop music but would highly recommend this CD if you wish to dip you toe into the pool of Christmas Classical music. Troika is my favourite, instantly recogniseable and instantly uplifting.
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on 1 January 2010
Because my extensive CD collection was sadly bereft of any Christmas music I decided to rectify that situation, and this year I purchased the following Christmas CDs:

i) A Classic Christmas
ii) The John Rutter Christmas Album
iii) Nöel - Christmas at Kings
iv) Legends Christmas Collection

If I were to rank this CD amongst those four, I would put it in second position behind Nöel, which was the clear winner.

There is nothing wrong with this CD per se., I think anyone who purchases it will be more than satisfied with both the quality of the recordings (varied) and the atmosphere it creates in your home. Certainly it contains a one-stop-shop for anyone looking for a definitive Christmas album, but there sadly lies-in the one minus point.

As this CD is an eclectic mix of various: recordings, choirs, arrangements and quality, I personally found this aspect detracted somewhat from the overall cohesion of the CD. Whist I fully appreciate others might like this eclectic approach, I sadly do not, hence I preferred the King's recording.

Nevertheless, having stated the above, I think you will not be disappointed by this CD and I would recommend it to any potential purchaser. I would also state, that I found by playing the three classic CDs mentioned above in rotation I managed to create a superb Christmas ambience, something which certainly enhanced and enriched this year's Festive Season.
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on 23 June 2009
Put this CD on, pour a glass of sherry and get making those mince pies... just perfect for a Christmas that's as sparkley and magical as it should be! Love it.
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I can't believe the quality of the recordings on this CD, currently available at an amazing price. Whilst they are vintage recordings the sound reproduction is excellent. 'Ultimate Collection' is quite a claim, but it's certainly a top quality collection of seasonally themed classical music and carols.

It's a lovely CD to have playing quietly in the background as you go about Christmas preparations. So many pieces are special favourites, the atmospheric 'Troika', beloved carols like Deck the Halls and O Litttle Town of Bethlehem, Stille Nacht (Silent Night in the original German, sung by the Kings' Singers) along with Leroy Anderson's American 'Sleigh Ride'.

There are four wonderful recordings from the internationally renowned mixed choir of Clare College, Cambridge. The world famous composer John Rutter was the choirmaster at Clare College from 1975-79, and he is credited on the sleeve notes, although the recordings of the choir would appear to be copyrighted from 1967 and 1970, which is slightly confusing.

The sleeve notes are in tiny print, but worth reading, and informative. I didn't know that a Bacchanale is a boisterous Russian winter dance in honour of Bacchus, god of wine, but thanks to the notes on Glazunov's lively and very familiar Bacchanale, I do now. A super buy and one that will never date.
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