STEVE ORCHARD: Late on Christmas Eve (2013)
“Late on Christmas Eve is a nice collection of Christmas hymns beautifully arranged by a very cheerful Steve Orchard”
1 We Three Kings 4:07 2 In the Bleak Midwinter 4:42 3 Away in a Manger 4:32 4 The First Nowell 5:09 5 Hark the Herald Angels Sing 3:25 6 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 3:23 7 When the Snow Lay Round About 4:34 8 Once in Royal David's City 4:39 9 O'Come All Ye Faithful 3:32 10 Embers: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear 4:44 ADMusic | AD136 (DDL 43:08) (Christmas on New Age)
Here is an album that totally bewitched the visit during the Seasons Holidays. LATE ON CHRISTMAS EVE is a delicious Christmas album splendidly arranged by a Steve Orchard at the top of his romantism. The English musician chose 10 traditional Christmas carols to make of them some very beautiful new interpretations that ally cheerfulness hymns, like God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, to more contemplative ones like When the Snow Lay Round About and Hark the Herald Angels Sing or still the very austere O' Come All Ye Faithful which, here, plays on its cathedralish approach and its pious melody. Whether it is with his piano or his guitar, Steve Orchard does silky arrangements which bring a very New Age touch to familiar X-Mas tunes. I enjoyed, and so did my guesses, the soft and very poetic We Three Kings, Away in a Manger and the intrusive Embers: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. In the Bleak Midwinter turns into a beautiful snowy ballad and takes here quite a new dimension. And what is to say about the jazzy mood of The First Nowell and the bluesy tint of Once in Royal David's City Amazing of freshness.
In brief, what we have here is a nice collection of Christmas hymns beautifully arranged with just what a soft dosage of orchestration which doesn't fall into pitiful odes from which the only purpose is to make you cry. The harpsichords, the flutes and the carillons are sensitively well inserted and add a dimension not too deep so that we won't lose our sight from the happiness of these moments.
Sylvain Lupari (December 19th, 2013)
Available at AD Music