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Christmas & Holiday Music in Surround

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humprof

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A new disc by the Norwegian Girls Choir on 2L, Stille Grender. Unfortunately, the Blu-Ray is not yet available at Presto Classical, and ImportCDs shows availability on January 1st (!), even though the official release date is November 26th. Amazon: mp3 only. (I can't understand why this Grammy-winning label has such terrible distribution.)

You can download it right now from NativeDSD, at least--the 5.1 and stereo mixes, though not the Atmos mix. And you can stream it in high resolution on Tidal. Here's an article by Morten Lindberg about the recording process, with nice photos:

 
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artwwweb

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New Dolly Christmas 8 track. https://www.amazon.com/Holly-Dolly-Christmas-Amazon-Exclusive/dp/B08JF5JXPJ
OK, before you get too excited, I know this is only stereo, but I thought it worth a mention as a novelty. First the vinyl revival, then cassettes, now 8 tracks - surely it will mean Q8s will be trendy again soon? Perhaps Dolly will issue a quad version next year! :D Followed by a Roger Waters Christmas album on CD-4. ;)
 

humprof

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eClassical's annual Christmas promotion: from now through Christmas Eve, four different 24-bit albums (some in surround) at 50% off each day:
 

humprof

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artwwweb

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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:

View attachment 31473
Thanks ubertrout!

I didn't hold out too much hope for this disc. I thought it would be typical classical with a small amount of reverb in the rears. But I thought it was worth a try - and was extremely pleased to be proved wrong.

It feels like you are right in the middle of the cathedral. To me the higher voices are up front and lower voices behind, though maybe that is a result of the deeper notes reverberating more? It certainly sounds like you are surrounded by voices. Then, when the organ kicks in, wow! Deep notes on the right (F+S) and higher on the left (F+S). So the surround mix is both front-back and left-right. Maybe I was overwhelmed with Christmas spirit but I thought this sounded fantastic when I played it last night.

I only listened to the first 15 minutes because my wife asked me to stop playing it until we could listen together. That doesn't happen when I am playing Yes or Black Sabbath! But I thought it was worth mentioning now so that anybody who fancies it has a chance to get it before Christmas.

Interesting that it is a 1973 quad recording that was only ever released in stereo at the time. The Winchester Cathedral Choir* Conducted By Martin Neary (2) - Christmas Carols Though I think I prefer the the original title and sleeve design. Not quite sure why they changed it to "Starring: Christmas".
 
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GOS

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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:

View attachment 31473

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): HRAudio.net - Search

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.
Hmmm - I'm pretty sure I don't own this. Need to check it out.
 

artwwweb

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ubertrout

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Thanks ubertrout!

I didn't hold out too much hope for this disc. I thought it would be typical classical with a small amount of reverb in the rears. But I thought it was worth a try - and was extremely pleased to be proved wrong.

It feels like you are right in the middle of the cathedral. To me the higher voices are up front and lower voices behind, though maybe that is a result of the deeper notes reverberating more? It certainly sounds like you are surrounded by voices. Then, when the organ kicks in, wow! Deep notes on the right (F+S) and higher on the left (F+S). So the surround mix is both front-back and left-right. Maybe I was overwhelmed with Christmas spirit but I thought this sounded fantastic when I played it last night.

I only listened to the first 15 minutes because my wife asked me to stop playing it until we could listen together. That doesn't happen when I am playing Yes or Black Sabbath! But I thought it was worth mentioning now so that anybody who fancies it has a chance to get it before Christmas.

Interesting that it is a 1973 quad recording that was only ever released in stereo at the time. The Winchester Cathedral Choir* Conducted By Martin Neary (2) - Christmas Carols Though I think I prefer the the original title and sleeve design. Not quite sure why they changed it to "Starring: Christmas".
Pentatone didn't get a license for any of the original artwork for their releases. As for the name, I'm not sure why either. More generally, glad you enjoyed!
 

Strilo

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I did a fun thing recently. I have all (both) of the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas releases that are in 5.1, as well as their entire catalog on CD. In 2011 and 2013, they did two Symphony albums of their Christmas arrangements with an orchestra. Some of these versions, especially the more upbeat songs, sound better in the symphonic versions. They are mostly free of some of the worst of the fake synth MIDI instruments Chip has overused since 1990.

One particular song, Carol of the Bells, I liked the Symphony version better, for several reasons. But I noticed that at two points, the trumpets don't have the same punch and volume as the original, which sort of gutted two of my favorite bits of the song. Now, the Symphony releases were never done in 5.1, but the original version is on their Christmas Celebration DVD-Audio in 5.1, so I wondered to myself if I could somehow isolate these trumpet parts from the 5.1 mix and overlay them on the symphony version.

I suspected that because some of the original synth parts were included in the Symphony version, that they had used a click track to keep the newly recorded symphony orchestra in time with the original tracked recording. Turns out I was right. The two different tracks of the song were the exact same tempo and everything. So as I went through the 5.1 original track in Audacity I found that the trumpet parts, along with some of the orchestral elements (french horns, strings, etc), were in the surround channels. So I basically built a new track with the Symphony version as the front left and right channels, and the original version's surround channels as the surround channels in my version.

With a little editing to remove the weird MIDI voice samples (which I've always disliked), I wound up with my own multitrack version of Carol of the Bells, that blends perfectly the Symphony version with elements of the original mix. The trumpet parts are loud and clear, as I like them. But I also got some extra beef on the french horn parts, some percussion, and some of the fun synth sound effects from the original. I mixed it down to stereo, as was my original intent. But I also realized I had a surround mix, basically quad. I exported that to a FLAC and listen to it on my surround system It works well and is a fun mix. A bonus I was not intending.

So I feel all proud of myself for creating my first surround mix!!
 

perzon57

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A new disc by the Norwegian Girls Choir on 2L, Stille Grender. Unfortunately, the Blu-Ray is not yet available at Presto Classical, and ImportCDs shows availability on January 1st (!), even though the official release date is November 26th. Amazon: mp3 only. (I can't understand why this Grammy-winning label has such terrible distribution.)

You can download it right now from NativeDSD, at least--the 5.1 and stereo mixes, though not the Atmos mix. And you can stream it in high resolution on Tidal. Here's an article by Morten Lindberg about the recording process, with nice photos:

Thanks for the heads up on this release,I wasn't aware of it.Found a Norwegian shop that has it in stock.:) Should arrive well before Christmas.:cool:Have several of 2L's choir recordings from chuch's,and they all sound wonderful in Atmos.
 

humprof

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Okay, this is kind of a cheat, but: Phil Kline, Unsilent Night. (Hey: in live performance, it's "street surround"--at least if you're in the middle of it.)

The commercial recording is stereo only, but it sounds really good through the Dolby Surround Upmixer. The four free tracks meant for public performances could easily be mixed into quad. Highly recommended if you're a fan of minimalism, ambient, electronica, and choral music!



 

perzon57

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Thanks for the heads up on this release,I wasn't aware of it.Found a Norwegian shop that has it in stock.:) Should arrive well before Christmas.:cool:Have several of 2L's choir recordings from chuch's,and they all sound wonderful in Atmos.
Received this yesterday, listened to some songs and it sounds wonderful in Atmos. :) There are songs both in English and Norwegian, an some solo piano improvisations too.
 

MidiMagic

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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:)

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
I have the CD. It is in Dolby Surround.

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.
This recording is copyrighted 2001. I have had the CD that long. It is much older than the Christmas Celebration CD. It is not in Dolby Surround.
 
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