Colonial Christmas, Barry Phillips & Friends
Barry Phillips is a cellist, composer arranger and recording engineer whose CDs have included a series of collections of early American music. In 2008, Barry released Colonial Christmas, (Gourd Music) a CD of instrumental carols and dances from the American colonial period. Barry’s CDs always have thoroughly researched and beautifully written notes, and each carol in this collection has a story. The pieces are, as always, beautifully played, Barry on cello, with Shelley Phillips on oboe and French horn, and additional musicians on bassoon, double harp, fiddles and other period insruments. The music is lilting but mellow, perfect for accompanying Christmas dinner or as background for present opening.
Christmas Classics, Solitudes
Since 1981 Solitudes had made CDs that incorporate natural sounds (birds, wind, sea, etc.) with music. The Christmas offering here is characteristic of their style. The selections move from light classics (“Skater’s Waltz”) and familiar seasonal favourites (“Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”) to traditional carols (“Greensleeves”), all interlaced with nature’s own music. If so-called “New Age” music is your style, this CD is definitely meant for your collection.