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 your favorite Peanuts® Christmas tunes on It’s A David Benoit Christmas, the dazzling arrangements of Christmas with The 5 Browns, Simon Mulligan’s jazzy Christmas at Steinway Hall, Stewart Goodyear’s masterful solo piano arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, and Jeffrey Biegel’s intimate solo-piano A Steinway Christmas Album.
David Benoit was bitten by the jazz bug after watching a Charlie Brown special on television and listening to the music of Vince Guaraldi in 1965. “I was already a fan of the comic strip,” he says, “but when I heard that jazz piano trio, that was the defining moment when I decided that I wanted to play like Vince Guaraldi.”
Produced by Grammy Award winner Adam Abeshouse, Christmas with The 5 Browns features fresh, dynamic arrangements of both familiar and lesser known pieces. Six of the tracks on the album capture the group’s trademark transcendent magic with all five pianos played simultaneously. Others feature two pianos (“O Holy Night,” performed by Deondra and Desirae), solo spotlights by Melody, Gregory and Ryan and one piece (“For Unto Us A Child is Born,”) from Handel’s Messiah, arranged by Carl Czerny, performed on a single piano by the six hands of Melody, Desirae and Deondra.
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
“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.” —Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com