from Steinway & Sons
may your holiday season be filled with peace and music.
Steinway & Sons offers a Spotify playlist of albums from the Steinway & Sons label to put you in the holiday spirit — which include Simon Mulligan's jazzy Christmas at Steinway Hall, Stewart Goodyear’s masterful solo piano arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker; Jeffrey Biegel’s intimate solo-piano A Steinway Christmas Album; and audiophile arrangements of Christmas songs in A String Quartet Christmas.
The sounds of Christmas on a Steinway — recorded at Steinway Hall in New York City. Simon Mulligan’s tasteful jazz arrangements are an ideal accompaniment to the holiday season. The album comprises both traditional carols and hymns that might be sung in a church service (“Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “O Holy Night,” “Away in a Manger”) and American Christmas songs popularized by Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and others (“Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”) – all given fresh, colorful interpretations by Mulligan.
“As a youngster in Toronto, the pianist Stewart Goodyear loved listening to Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ over and over. Also a composer, Mr. Goodyear channeled his love for the work into his own elaborate, detailed and utterly captivating arrangement for solo piano, which he plays magnificently on this new recording. Like Liszt, a master at transcribing symphonic music for the piano, Mr. Goodyear honors Tchaikovsky’s music through his ingenious arrangement. Without its colorful orchestral enrichments, the score comes through here with stunning freshness and detail, thanks to the elegant, impressively articulate playing.”
— Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
If ever a season called for music in the home, it is Christmas. In the days before recordings, members of the household, invariably proficient on one instrument or another, would play music together — both for their own enjoyment and to set a festive mood. The arrangements in this audiophile set from Arturo Delmoni, meticulously produced by John Marks, hearken back to those earlier days. And in that tradition of music-making, the modern household may well be inspired to sing along.
“It’s not surprising that an album that features a Steinway piano as its raison d'être makes sure to mention which particular instrument is being used — none other than a Steinway Model D, a 9-foot concert grand, first-choice of pianists all over the world, often referred to as the "king of pianos", this one residing at the Concert Hall of the Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, State University of New York. The expertly engineered recording shows off the instrument’s rich tones, ringing out with Steinway's signature full-bodied, mellifluous sonority. This quality, along with Jeffrey Biegel’s lively playing, makes the opening Sleigh Ride sound particularly robust — so much so that Read more you get the initial impression of two artists at two pianos.
“This aural magic carries over to the Nutcracker selections, with the Miniature Overture sounding more martial than the orchestral version (even though the arrangement confines itself to the middle registers). The program features a number of clever amalgamations, most notably Ding Dong Merrily on High melded into Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, and Hark! the Herald Angels Sing brilliantly re-imagined as a Beethoven sonata movement.
“The album offers a handful of folk songs and carols from the British, German, and Russian traditions (we get two versions of Silent Night), as well as American popular classics, including the evergreen A Christmas Song. Toward the end of the program Biegel presents two new Christmas songs, both tuneful and well suited to the occasion, before concluding the disc with a look toward the new year in a tender rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
“Overall, it's a marvelous album that will appeal especially to those who prefer to enjoy the music of the season without the glib commercialism that often gets attached to it. Indeed, the intelligence and artistry are such that you can savor it any time of year. Highly recommended.”
— Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com