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  • chrisdumigan

Boccherini Guitar Quartet : Christmas Guitar : CD

O Holy Night; Silent Night; The Carol of the Bells; It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; Away in a Manger; Greensleeves; We Three Kings; The First Noel; Little Drummer Boy; Northern Star Medley; Bethlehem Medley; I Heard the Bells; Hark the Herald Angels Sing; Christmas Concerto .

Boccherini Guitar Quartet

Reflections 29193

Firstly, this is a set of recordings of some of our most favourite Christmas pieces all arranged by this Italian quartet. Moreover the feeling is warm and cosy, and it is all nicely recorded too. It is a friendly set of pieces, and the melodies are largely as you remember them, with just one or two slight variations at times, to keep you interested, not that that is, in itself, necessary with such a beautiful sounding collection as this. Silent Night for example has a lovely introduction that keeps you guessing for a minute or so, until the melody weaves its way out of the contrapuntal harmonies from the other 3 guitarists. Similarly Away In A Manger may not begin the way you expect it to, but after nearly half the duration of the piece, the tune you perhaps are expecting comes in, so I imagine that they have woven together two different versions of the melody. Greensleeves may seem a strange choice as it is not immediately a piece of music that suggests Christmas, but it is in some places exactly that, and very good it sounds too. We Three Kings begins as a tremolo melody, which works really well. The arrangements are wonderfully done, and the way they are introduced by, usually, another melody entirely is great fun, and none of the pieces outstay their welcome, as most are relatively short, and with lovely details embedded into them. Little Drummer Boy is achieved by one guitar doing some strumming to create the rhythmic effect of the drummer boy, and then the melody appears above , and then again , but this time with harmonies surrounding it, and is , as a result, one of my very favourite pieces here! The Northern Star Medley consists of O Come All Ye Faithful, Good King Wenceslas, and Do You Hear What I Hear, whilst the following track Bethlehem Medley is a mix of God Rest Ye Merry gentlemen and Joy to the World. The longest track by far is the final Christmas Concerto at a little over 9 minutes, and is the only piece that was new to me, but it proved to be a fine closing track to what is just one of the best Christmas sets I have ever heard and if you like your Christmas music beautiful, clean, cleverly arranged and wonderfully played and recorded, you could do far worse than go for this lovely CD.

Chris Dumigan

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