Arthur Fiedler & Boston Pops – Pops Christmas Party (1959/1994/2015) [HDTracks 24-192]

Arthur Fiedler & Boston Pops – Pops Christmas Party (1959/1994/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 01:12:40 minutes | 2,35 GB | Genre: Holiday, Christmas
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Front cover | © RCA Records

This Boston Pops Orchestra holiday compilation, first released in 1959 then reissued in 1994, features some recordings that have become hallmarks of the holiday season, like Leroy Anderson’s arrangement of “Sleigh Ride”. Arthur Fiedler was the first conductor of Boston Pops and was famous for popularizing orchestral music.

When it originally appeared in 1959, this LP was regarded as one of the sonic gems in the RCA Victor “Living Stereo” library, a demonstration-quality stereo record that was also chock-full of supremely enjoyable music, from Leroy Anderson to Tchaikovsky. And original “Shaded Dog” label copies (referring to the early masterings/pressings, and the image of “Nipper” the dog on the label) in mint condition are still highly prized by audiophiles 50 years later. The repertory here, a mix of light orchestral holiday standards, arrangements of popular Christmas songs, and some excerpts from more ambitious classical works (especially The Nutcracker), was ideal for Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, and they ran with it — Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” is the most famous recording here, a classic that is almost as ubiquitous during the Christmas season as Bing Crosby’s recording of “White Christmas.” But there’s a lot else to love on this album, including “A Christmas Festival,” Anderson’s arrangement of familiar songs and carols (“Joy to the World” etc.) as an orchestral fantasia, plus “White Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland.” Some of the material may seem to go far afield, but it’s all winter-themed and holds together exceptionally well. The 1994 CD reissue was expanded to just over 72 minutes, and offers exceptionally bright, crisp sound. –AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder

Tracklist:
1 A Christmas Festival 8:34
1.1 Joy To The World
1.2 Deck The Halls
1.3 Good King Wenceslas
1.4 Good Rest Ye Marry, Gentlemen
1.5 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
1.6 The First Nowell
1.7 Silent Night
1.8 Jingle Bells
1.9 O Come, All Ye Faithful
2 The Nutcracker: Overture 3:06
3 White Christmas 2:47
4 Sleigh Ride 2:58
5 Winter Wonderland 2:55
6 Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers 3:53
7 The Nutcracker: Chocolate (Spanish Dance) 1:09
8 The Nutcracker: Coffee (Arabian Dance) 3:38
9 The Nutcracker: Tea (Chinese Dance) 1:11
10 The Toy Trumpet 2:24
11 The Nutcracker: Trepak (Russian Dance) 1:02
12 The Nutcracker: Dance Of The Flutes 2:04
13 Hansel And Gretel: Dream Pantomine 9:34
14 The Nutcracker: Mother Gigogne And The Clowns 2:36
15 Sleigh Ride 2:36
16 The Nutcracker: Waltz Of The Flowers 6:21
17 The Nutcracker: Pas De Deux 4:39
18 The Nutcracker: Dance Of The Sugar-Plum Fairy 1:24
19 Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer 2:08
20 The Nutcracker: Final Waltz 3:29
21 Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town 2:35

Personnel:
The Boston Pops Orchestra
Arthur Fiedler, conductor

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