- Audio CD (30 Nov. 2009)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Decca
- ASIN: B002PAQETO
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,390 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Winter Magic CD
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Digital Booklet: Winter Magic
Digital Booklet: Winter Magic
A magical collection of Christmas songs from the 22 year old singing phenomenon that is Hayley Westenra. Winter Magic combines some of the best loved and most familiar seasonal carols such as "Silent Night" and "Coventry Carol" with popular Christmas songs "Little Drummer Boy" and "Sleigh Ride", as well as tracks Hayley has written herself ("Peace Shall Come", "All With You" and "Christmas Morning"). The variety of the song choices perfectly showcases the versatility of Hayley’s angelic voice and her ability to not only perform in a beautiful, classical way ("Corpus Christi Carol") but also in a considerably more 'pop' style ("Peace Shall Come").
Top customer reviews
This is an album that the whole family will enjoy as it contains children's favourites like "Silent Night" & "Little Drummer Boy" as well as a good selection of traditional carols such as "Carol of the Bells", "The Coventry Carol" and "Veni Veni Emmanuel", the latter, a hauntingly beautiful rendition sung in Latin by Hayley with such passion that I defy anyone to try to do anything but listen whilst it plays.
Other tracks include a moving rendition of Joni Mitchell's "River" and three totally new songs which Hayley co-wrote - "Christmas Morning", All With You" and "Peace Shall Come", one of the most powerful tracks on the album. All in all, it's very difficult to pick a favourite
Hayley is at her stunning best on this album and her captivating vocals shine through on each and every track with lyrics seeming to come alive such that it feels like the listener is being drawn into the mood of each song. I believe this is going to be one Christmas album that is going to be talked about for many Christmas's to come. It just can't go wrong.
A characteristic of Hayley Westenra albums is that different versions are released and this album is no exception. The American version contains 14 tracks. The Japanese version contains those 14 tracks plus a non-Christmas bonus track titled On the wings of time. The British version contains the 14 tracks as released on the American edition plus a duet with Ronan Keating on a song that Ronan co-wrote titled It's only Christmas. Ronan released his own Christmas album in 2009, also including the song. I haven't heard that album but I'm told that the version there is a Ronan solo, not featuring Hayley.
The set opens with Little road to Bethlehem, a song previously recorded by both Shawn Colvin and Aled Jones, but it deserved to be more frequently recorded. The next song is Carol of the bells, which I think generally works best as a group song with different voices, but Hayley does as good a solo version as I've heard. Elsewhere, the album contains a few standards including The Christmas song, Silent night, Little drummer boy and the aforementioned Sleigh ride, but those looking for a selection of mostly familiar songs are advised to look elsewhere. To the standards, we should now add River, the Joni Mitchell song that now turns up frequently on Christmas albums though this wasn't always the case.
The other tracks include Coventry carol, which is quite well known in Britain though I don't see it very often on American albums. Alison Moyet recorded a fine version for the original A very special Christmas, so anybody who has that album will recognize the song. Two other traditional carols featured are Corpus Christi carol (which I don't remember hearing elsewhere, though I probably have) and Veni veni Emmanuel, which is a Latin version of a more familiar song. Hayley co-wrote three songs (Christmas album, All with you, Peace shall come) while Winter's dream may also be an original song.
This is a great mellow Christmas album, especially for those who want a song selection that isn't too predictable.
There are other songs that I was less familar with and yet they all have a wonderful Christmas feel. If you enjoy Christmas music then this will be a great additional to your festive collection and give greater enjoyment than some of the Christmas Complilations that are packed with dozens of tracks. If you are a Westenra fan then you won't be disappointed with this collection, it's the high quality music that you would expect from her.
Highly recommended for the festive season!
Hopefully if you do buy it though it will be closer to the holidays and well enjoyed.
Something Old (Corpus Christi Carol, Coventry Carol, Silent Night)
Something New (Christmas Morning, All With You, Peace Shall Come)
Something Borrowed (River - from Joni Mitchell)
Something Blue (River again)
Something Traditional, Something Innovative
Something well known, Something obscure
Something up-tempo, Something slow
Something spiritual, Something material
Something joyful, Something sad
Something classical, Something folk, Something pop
Something religious, Something secular
Somtimes light hearted, sometimes serious, somtimes breathtakingly beautiful
Always beautifully sung, Always brilliantly arranged
Always quality songs, always well recorded
Never boring, never stodgy, never pretentious, never tacky
All that, performed by one of the world's great voices.
What more could you want? This is Christmas music that can hold its own throughout the year.
Get it! You won't regret it! This is a truly wonderful album!