Thursday, December 23, 2010

John Boswell - Festival Of The Heart (1992)

In short, Festival of the Heart is one of the best Christmas albums ever recorded. Even the cover art is gorgeous. The crystal clear production of this totally instrumental CD is only one of the many wonders you will notice upon listening to John Boswell's beautiful arrangements of fourteen immortal Christmas classics plus two of his originals.

Most of these traditional songs are heard so often over the holiday season one tends to forget that many of these carols are some of the best melodies ever written. Boswell's sparse arrangements remind you that Christmas carols are music and not just audio decorations that complement your nutcracker and tree ornaments. His intensely melodic piano playing makes you understand and appreciate just how beautiful the melodies to "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Silent Night," "What Child Is This (Greensleeves)," and "O Holy Night" really are.

Boswell’s supporting cast enhances each track while playing such instruments as the penny whistle, guitar, English horn, flute and synthesizer. The exotic percussion instruments played by Omar Faruk Tekbilik provide "The Little Drummer Boy" with a very original Middle Eastern treatment.

You can listen to three tracks here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this! This is wonderful stuff. The most moving arrangement of Greensleeves I've ever heard. (I did a version of this great tune for a music library in the 80s - haven;t heard it in years, but it doesn't hold a candle to Boswell's.)

    And yes, these are great melodies for all time. Wish I could find a website for him.

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