Album: Sting, If on a Winter's Night... (Deutsche Grammophon)
Friday 30 October 2009
Named after Italo Calvino's meta-fiction If On a Winter's Night a Traveller, this is Sting's second album for the German classical label, following his 2003 collection of lute music Songs from the Labyrinth.
As a Christmas album, it is liable to secure a broader audience than its predecessor, though perhaps not as broad as its creators might have hoped. The material avoids standard seasonal repertoire in favour of more obscure carols and poems, also reflecting the pagan, pre-Christian spiritual values: virtually the only familiar melody is the brief trumpet counterpoint of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" that embellishes the later stages of the traditional beggar's song "Soul Cake". But while the folk-music settings of violins, mandolins, lap dulcimer, melodeon, harp and Northumbrian pipes are as warm and spicy as mulled wine, Sting's own baritone vocals are too similarly warm in timbre, and his delivery too ponderous, rendering many of the songs somewhat indistinct and blurry. The blending of subtle orchestrations by Musica Aeterna and choral arrangements by period specialists Stile Antico with the folk elements is beautifully effected on tracks such as "Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming" and "Balulalow", but, contrarily, the incursion of fusion-jazz soprano sax in "The Burning Babe" is horrid.
Download this Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming; Soul Cake; Christmas At Sea; The Hounds Of Winter
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rice Bucket Challenge: India's take on the Ice Bucket Challenge 'for Indian needs'
- 2 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Rubble Bucket Challenge: Ice Bucket Challenge adapted in solidarity with Gazans whose homes have been destroyed in conflict
- 5 Car tax disc changes: Make sure you know the new rules from 1 October or risk £1,000 fine
Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love voted Greatest Guitar Riff of all time
Doctor Who lesbian kiss sparks Ofcom complaints over 'weird lesbian-lizard perv trip'
Emmys 2014: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Steven Moffat win big awards for Sherlock
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Beyonce MTV VMAs feminist performance: Twitter reacts to singer's 'double standard'
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
- < Previous
- Next >