on 31 October 2006
At the risk of becoming a bore due to all the other reviews about this CD I will come at it from a slightly different view. We are all agreed that the arrangements on this CD by Percy Faith are magnificent and yes, there are indeed some quite dodgy bits in the remastering but I would still rather have this CD as it is than not have it at all.The Christmas Music Vol 2 is beautifully done but alas very rare to come by these days. If Sony really cared they would do this CD the justice it truly deserves and remaster it to the same high standard as they did Vol 2.
Back in the early to mid 50's Percy Faith recorded the same music in mono as it then was and with the advent of stereo he re-recorded the same arrangements for the new stereo format. The only very slight changes to the music for the new recordings were only concerned with slightly different orchestration and a variation in tempo on a couple of the tracks.Volume 2 was recorded in stereo on the back of the success of the new version of Volume 1. The 2 volumes were available as a 2 record set in some countries up until the mid 1960's.
The original vinyl LP's both sounded equally as good.
The reason why these albums sounded so wonderful was not only down to the unsurpassable arrangements by Percy Faith but also to the true ingenuity of the sound engineer at Columbia at that time,Harold Chapman.
The albums were recorded in the 30th Street Studio's in New York City
This huge studio was a disused former church which had a magnificent ambience which suited Percy's orchestral albums perfectly and with "Chappie" Chapman balancing the sound with such loving care and skill, it is little wonder that the end result was so wonderful.
On these exceptional recordings Percy also captured in his superb arrangements,the time in which these beautiful melodies were first composed and also the reverance they convey to this most beloved of seasons.
This very great skill that Percy Faith performed in these superb recordings which we have loved and treasured down the years season after season and which, to me describe perfectly the true and wonderous meaning of Christmas is made all the more remarkable by the fact that the great Percy Faith was himself Jewish.
He was also a very wonderful warm and caring human being and since his passing on 9th February 1976, the world of music has been all the poorer for his loss.He did however leave a magnificent legacy of recorded music for us all to enjoy and the Christmas Music albums are amongst the best of them.5 stars for the music and let's hope Sony do some remastering on this splendid CD. Happy listening to all this and every holiday season!