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Album Spotlight: James Edwards - Christmas Bells

James Edwards' recently released Christmas Bells album is a collection of ten traditional Christmas songs arranged for solo classical guitar.  The end result is stunning in its simplicity.  For the most part, the arrangements are very faithful to the source material, but they are played with a great flair that makes them well worth listening to, no matter how many times you may have heard some of these songs before.

Even though it is not reflected in the titles, a lot of these songs are actually medleys of two or three songs.  For example, "Silent Night" begins with "The First Noel", and "A Merry Christmas" has elements of "Good King Wenceslas" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".  I love medleys, and although these are short, they are still fun to listen to.

Christmas Bells is the type of album that can work in a variety of situations.  It makes great background music, but the songs are so well performed that you can hear new things in them each time you listen to them.  Personally, I have found that it makes wonderful lullaby music for putting my 2 year old to sleep.  However you choose to listen to it, I hope it helps to make your Christmas a little more special.  Happy listening!



David said...

Some of James' Christmas work is on the Magnatune compilation I wrote about (Free Download Friday #38: Classical Christmas). As you say, from the titles it is difficult to say for sure but it looks like most of the tracks on the Magnatunes compilation are also on the one you link to here (with the possible exception of Good King Wenceslas).

Chels said...

Well, it took me a while to finally get around to really looking at your blog after you left your comments on mine. I'm impressed with your enthusiasm for (free) Christmas music! Your site is great!