Album: Te Kanawa, Price, Sutherland, Tebaldi, Christmas With the Divas (Decca)

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The Independent Culture

A budget boxed set of four divas' Christmas albums, Christmas With The Divas represents good value, but not much fun. The earliest, a Leontyne Price release from 1961, illustrates a shared problem: all good on the sober arias, but too starchy for joyous release. However, Price's "Ave Maria" is a thing of beauty. Joan Sutherland nimbly negotiates "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" from 1965, and Renata Tebaldi sticks to the classical canon from 1971. But Kiri Te Kanawa is the worst offender; it's all stiff shirts.

Download this Ave Maria; Silent Night; The Twelve Days Of Christmas