If you are interested in Classical guitar music for Christmas you must listen to this cd. Michael Chapdelaine is the head of the guitar program at the University of New Mexico. He is an award winning guitarist, both classical and steel string, and one listen of the cd will tell you why. The cd is arranged in a unique fashion: he "tells" the story of the birth of Christ in a sequence of selections. He begins with "Ave Maria" and then continues with "The First Noel" "Carol of the Bells" "Silent Night" "Do You Hear What I Hear" "Away In A Manger" (two versions) "Coventry Carol" "What Child Is This" "Little Drummer Boy" "O Holy Night" "O Come O Come Emanuel" "Good Christian Men Rejoice" and ends with "Jesu, Joy of Mans' Desiring".
The thing I like best about the cd is that Chapdelaine plays the music in a "traditional" sense, that is, with some personalization but basically he stays with the music the way it was written. "Carol of the Bells" is perhaps the most jazzy. My personal favorite is "Silent Night", a rendition that never leaves me with dry eyes. There is a tremolo section in this piece that is simply beautiful. Overall, his selections flow with such ease and continuity that the cd is almost seamless.
The guitar playing is impecable. Chapdelaine has been compared favorably to the masters of the art, most notably Segovia. He knows how to make the guitar "say" exactly what he wants it to. These selections can be haunting, comforting, encouraging and/or inspiring - often in the same piece. There is some accompaniment, but it always accents Chapdelaine's playing, never overshadows it.
Anytime you are in the mood for that Christmas feeling, light a couple of candles and play this cd. It will be Christmas all year long.