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Christmas & Holiday Music in Surround

skherbeck

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I've been trying to put together a collection of Christmas music in surround for a couple years now... here's a rundown of what I've found and my thoughts on them. If anyone knows of any others, please post your thoughts:)

AIX All Stars - Surrounded By Christmas DVD-A/V - This is by far my favorite: acoustic jazz in a "Vince Guaraldi" style with excellent fidelity and an ulta-discrete, static mix (the instruments stay in their respective channels throughout the disc). It's available at AmazonUS for about $20 HERE

The Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas MonsterDisc DVD-A - A classic. Jazz Trio. Excellent fidelity and a room-filling mix (not all that discrete but warm and enveloping)

Mannheim Steamroller - Christmas Celebration DVD-A - A mix of New Age-ish synthesizer music and midieval-sounding tunes. Excellent fidelity; some songs are very discrete while others have ambience in the rear channels. Available at AmazonUS for about $13 HERE

Mannheim Steamroller - Christmas Extraordinaire DVD-A - Many of these tunes are on the "Christmas Celebration" DVD-A and the ones that aren't are just OK. I would pass on this and just get the "Christmas Celebration" disc.

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Christmas Time Again DVD-A - I'm a Skynyrd fan, but I don't dig this album. Poor fidelity, bad surround mix, whatever music... maybe a Country fan might like it? I found one song that I like in a "cryin' in your beer" sort of way: "Mama's Song".

Admiral Presents Christmas in Four Channel Surround (Q8/QR) - This is a fantastic collection of classic, vintage Christmas music from various artists (The Philadelphia Orchestra, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Robert Goulet, etc)... the fidelity sounds great for it's time and the surround mix is very discrete. I've only heard the Q8, but I imagine the QR sounds even better.

Christmas With Ronnie Aldrich and The London Festival Orchestra (Q8)- I love this one. Orchestra music across the front channels and two pianos, one in each rear corner. The only thing I don't like is that the pianos in the rear channels sometimes "get confused" and sway to the side or the front at times.

London Festival Brass Ensemble - The Magic Of Christmas (QS) - Orchestral music (mainly brass) and a children's choir. Very enjoyable and a semi-discrete mix.

New York Voices - Let It Snow SACD/DVD-A - Almost forgot this one... Vocal Jazz with excellent fidelity and discrete surround mix by Elliot Scheiner... for me, the standouts are the acapella songs with a different vocal discretely mixed into each channel... these four songs are pure surround bliss.

The Nutcracker Suite - London Philharmonic/Stokowski (Pentatone SACD) - Great fidelity and a very wide, room-filling soundstage mix.
 
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humprof

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Nice thread.

If you can find them, there's also an old Lorin Maazel/Cleveland Nutcracker Suite on Telarc [edit: sorry--that's 2.0 only] and a Bernstein/NYPO on Sony Classical. And a recording of the complete ballet (Vedernikov/Bolshoi) on Pentatone ($31 at Presto Classical, much cheaper--but backordered--at ImportCDs).

Other "vintage" stuff--all quad--that I know of:
  • Christmas with Robert Shaw (Atlanta Symphony Orch. & Chorus; Vox Turnabout)
  • The World Rejoices: A Festival of Carols (Gregg Smith Singers; Vox Turnabout)
  • A Song for Christmas (Royal Liverpool Phil. Orch. & Chorus; EMI/HMV Greensleeve)

More recent releases:


I've been trying to put together a collection of Christmas music in surround for a couple years now... here's a rundown of what I've found and my thoughts on them. If anyone knows of any others, please post your thoughts:)

AIX All Stars - Surrounded By Christmas DVD-A/V - This is by far my favorite: acoustic jazz in a "Vince Guaradi" style with excellent fidelity and an ulta-discrete, static mix (the instruments stay in their respective channels throughout the disc). It's available at AmazonUS for about $20 HERE

The Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas MonsterDisc DVD-A - A classic. Jazz Trio. Excellent fidelity and a room-filling mix (not all that discrete but warm and enveloping)

Mannheim Steamroller - Christmas Celebration DVD-A - A mix of New Age-ish synthesizer music and midieval-sounding tunes. Excellent fidelity; some songs are very discrete while others have ambience in the rear channels. Available at AmazonUS for about $13 HERE

Mannheim Steamroller - Christmas Extraordinaire DVD-A - Many of these tunes are on the "Christmas Celebration" DVD-A and the ones that aren't are just OK. I would pass on this and just get the "Christmas Celebration" disc.

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Christmas Time Again DVD-A - I'm a Skynyrd fan, but I don't dig this album. Poor fidelity, bad surround mix, whatever music... maybe a Country fan might like it? I found one song that I like in a "cryin' in your beer" sort of way: "Mama's Song".

Admiral Presents Christmas in Four Channel Surround (Q8/QR) - This is a fantastic collection of classic, vintage Christmas music from various artists (The Philadelphia Orchestra, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Robert Goulet, etc)... the fidelity sounds great for it's time and the surround mix is very discrete. I've only heard the Q8, but I imagine the QR sounds even better.

Christmas With Ronnie Aldrich and The London Festival Orchestra (Q8)- I love this one. Orchestra music across the front channels and two pianos, one in each rear corner. The only thing I don't like is that the pianos in the rear channels sometimes "get confused" and sway to the side or the front at times.

London Festival Brass Ensemble - The Magic Of Christmas (QS) - Orchestral music (mainly brass) and a children's choir. Very enjoyable and a semi-discrete mix.

New York Voices - Let It Snow SACD/DVD-A - Almost forgot this one... Vocal Jazz with excellent fidelity and discrete surround mix by Elliot Scheiner... for me, the standouts are the acapella songs with a different vocal discretely mixed into each channel... these four songs are pure surround bliss.

The Nutcracker Suite - London Philharmonic/Stokowski (Pentatone SACD) - Great fidelity and a very wide, room-filling soundstage mix.
 

GOS

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I didn't know about the Nutcracker Suite...might have to look for that one....
 

ubertrout

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I'm not a big Xmas person, but there's a ton of great seasonal music out there on quad/surround SACD. the one that came immediately to mind is this collection of carols, recorded in quad in the 1970s:

51BapogRL5L.jpg

HRaudio counts 89 titles with "Christmas" somewhere in the data, including several recordings of Bach's Christmas Oratorio (Harnoncourt's recording on DHM is a front-runner and pretty easy to find): http://hraudio.net/search.php?format=0&keywords=christmas

If you want a complete Nutcracker, there are two recent surround recordings available at regular prices worth looking at - Jarvi on Chandos and Gergiev on Mariinsky. I have a mild preference for the Gergiev myself, and Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony is included on the second disc at no extra cost.
 

skherbeck

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Thanks for all the input! If anyone can think of any individual holiday tracks on non-holiday albums, that would be cool too... here’s a couple:

Jethro Tull - “Ring Out Solstice Bells” (Songs From The Wood DVD)
John Lennon - “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” (Lennon Legend DVD)
 

Tornado Red

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A couple more maybe not mentioned as I glance through your thread...
Vince Gill - Breath of Heaven on DTS-CD in 5.1
Rosemary Clooney - White Christmas on SACD in 5.1
 

skherbeck

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Here's another one:

Barry Manilow - A Christmas Gift of Love SACD - not really my cup of tea... the style is, well, Barry Manilow Style; nice surround activity, though (wide soundstage mix). Great fidelity.
 

jefe1

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Here's another one. On the DVD audio of Everclear So much for the Afterglow there is a Xmas song Hating you For Christmas that was a "hidden" song on the cd attached to the last song. It is labeled on the dvd audio.
 

zabble

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These are not recommendations, but they are a few I have that were not previously listed in this thread:

1. Johnny Mathis "The Christmas Album" SACD Columbia

2. Sounds of the Season "Smooth Jazz" DVD-A Silverline

3. 38 Special "A Wild-eyed Christmas Night" DVD-A Silverline
 

GOS

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These are not recommendations, but they are a few I have that were not previously listed in this thread:

1. Johnny Mathis "The Christmas Album" SACD Columbia

2. Sounds of the Season "Smooth Jazz" DVD-A Silverline

3. 38 Special "A Wild-eyed Christmas Night" DVD-A Silverline
what? Is there a Johnny Mathis in surround? I don't know about that one I guess....
 

zabble

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Thanks for all the input! If anyone can think of any individual holiday tracks on non-holiday albums, that would be cool too...
Nat King Cole "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)" "The Nat King Cole Story" SACD Capitol Analogue Productions
 

Simon A

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Is this in surround or stereo?
3 three track recording so you get fronts and center. That's the one I used last year to make a 5.0 version of it. You have it already. :)
 

fizzywiggs41

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My go to's every year are the Guaraldi-Charlie Brown , Mannheim's Celebration, and Beniot's Charlie Brown.(and JT and JT).



But also as mentioned Tull has 2 or 3 Xmas themed re: Montreaux .


James Taylor-October Road SACD has "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" last tune, fwiw.



And i used to have 4 or 5 Nimbus surround (UHJ) discs all worthy contenders for that warm Xmas with "Nog" type of feel.:chill
 
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