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christmas


Price: $15.00


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Defying the trend toward cloying renditions of the traditional Christmas canon, Philip Aaberg brings a new spirit to these tired songs. Aaberg is a veteran solo pianist who came to renown during the heyday of Windham Hill Records. He opens up pristine silences and melodically inventive expanses that seem to roll across the Montana plains of Aaberg's upbringing. "I Saw Three Ships" is the first signal that this is a different Christmas album. It takes a minute and a half before Aaberg even hints at the melody, as he improvises an elegiac fugue on the chords. Among the reworkings of traditional tunes, Aaberg sprinkles several originals, including the slip-sliding harmonies of "Montana Sleighride" and the quiet, open-plains spaces of "Earth Abides." Aaberg writes that he recorded this album between midnight and 4 a.m. in December 2000 while he was awaiting the birth of his son. Even without that cue, you can hear the quiet anticipation in his playing. -John Diliberto, Amazon.com

 

This isn't a party album. Play this after your guests have gone home, all the presents have been opened, and you want to get "straight to the actual" as poet Richard Hugo says. This album was recorded in Phil's living room in December with a pair of hand-made microphones that heard everything. They heard the sound of a sleigh pulled over snow on a full-moon Montana night, they heard the stories and lore of Christmas coming through the ages, they heard the lullabies written for the birth of one baby and lullabies played for all children, they heard the sounds of hope and Charity, and they heard the clarity of a still Winter night.

 

Song Titles: I Saw Three Ships, Montana Sleighride, Shepherds' Rocking Carol, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, Earth Abides, What child Is This?, The Gift, Away in a Manger, Charity, Three From The Choir (Hodie Christus Natus Est, Poverty, O Sanctissima, Qui Creavit (Among the Animals Lies the Joy of the World





 


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