A Song for Christmas
Mantovani
Label
Decca
Catalogue No.
4840268
Barcode
00028948402687
Format
2-CD
About

Mantovani made his first Christmas single (White Christmas with Adeste Fideles for the B side) for Decca in October, 1952. A year later he recorded a further twelve numbers for ‘An Album of Christmas Music’ and it became a major seller in the 1950s. With the advent of stereo, in 1958, all fourteen numbers were re-recorded and the album (here heard as CD 1) became a million seller. It was followed in 1963 with a second Christmas album, entitled ‘A Song for Christmas’ from which this set takes it names.

‘A Song for Christmas’ features the Mike Sammes Chorus & Singers who often joined the Italian born maestro’s musicians. They can be heard on seven of the twelve numbers on the record. A frequent arranger of much of the music Mantovani recorded was Cecil Milner, one of the maestro’s select team of arrangers.

Among the familiar carols on the album are some unfamiliar items like Mantovani’s self-penned Christmas Bells which conjures up the happy atmosphere surrounding Jesus Christ’s birthday celebrations. Paul Lambrecht’s Midnight Waltz and the now-forgotten traditional tune Nazareth are equally unfamiliar while Milner’s arrangement of ‘O Thou that tellest Good Tidings to Zion’ (from Handel’s Messiah) is entirely free of Mantovani’s signature cascading strings.

TRACK LISTING / ARTISTS

CD 1
Mantovani – Christmas Album
O Come all ye Faithful
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
White Christmas
Good King Wenceslas
O Holy Night
The First Nowell
Joy to the World
Silent Night, Holy Night
O Tannenbaum
Midnight Waltz
Nazareth
O Little Town of Bethlehem
The Skaters’ Waltz, Op. 183 (Les Patineurs)

CD 2
A Song for Christmas
Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly*
Once in Royal David’s City*
Jingle Bells
Toy Waltz
The Holly and the Ivy*
O Thou that tellest Good Tidings to Zion (from Messiah)
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear*
The Twelve Days of Christmas*
While Shepherds Watched
Christmas Bells
Mary’s Boy Child*
I Saw Three Ships*

Mike Sammes Chorus & Singers*
Mantovani & his Orchestra

Track previews
Christmas Bells
Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
O Come All Ye Faithful
O Tannenbaum
Silent Night, Holy Night
Joy to the World
The First Nowell
O Holy Night
Good King Wenceslas
White Christmas
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
Once in Royal David's City
The Skaters' Waltz
Mary's Boy Child
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Nazareth
Midnight Waltz
While Shepherds Watched
The Twelve Days of Christmas
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion
The Holly and the Ivy
Toy Waltz
Jingle Bells
I Saw Three Ships
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Recording information

Recording Producer: Frank Lee
Balance Engineer: Arthur Lilley
Recording Location: Kingsway Hall, London, UK, June 1958 (CD1), August 1963 (CD2)
Remastering Engineer: Chris Bernauer