Varèse Sarabande presents "Surviving Christmas", music from the film featuring Randy Edelman's score mixed with several songs from the past Holiday seasons…a list of some talented people Chet Atkins, Bing Crosby, Jose Feliciano, Judy Garland, Lou Rawls and Andy Williams.
Not only is The Nightmare Before Christmas one of the best musicals of the past two decades; it may well be Danny Elfman's masterpiece, successfully integrating his main influences (from Cab Calloway to Nino Rota) into a fantastic whole. The first disc of this reissue features the original soundtrack, its songs still teetering between dark humor and poetic flights of fancy; this so-called kids' music is at least as sophisticated and skilled as anything you're likely to hear on Broadway. The second disc includes demo versions of four songs on which Elfman plays and sings everything, and five new covers of some of Nightmare's best-loved songs. Marilyn Manson successfully applies his spooky Weimar-circus style on "This Is Halloween" while Panic! At the Disco's lushly orchestrated take on the same tune is closer to the original. Fiona Apple's poignant "Sally's Song" is enhanced by very nice string charts, and She Wants Revenge does a disco take on "Kidnap the Sandy Claws." Best perhaps is Fall Out Boy's cover of "What's This?" which sounds like an unexpected cross between the Beach Boys and Queen. A highly recommended set.
100 CDs provide you with the most exciting, most beautiful and most swinging recordings from this period. All-Star Swing groups with their most famous recordings. Mit Henry Allen, Roy Eldrige, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter, Fats Waller, Art Tatum, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, Teddy Wilson, Buck Clayton, Django Reinhardt, Jack Teagarden, Rex Stewart, Chu Berry, Charlie Christian, Louis Armstrong u.a. 100-CD-Box with original recordings.
Most of this disc is taken up with Liszt's Christmas Tree, an unusually modest suite based on Christmas carols. It also offers charming pieces by Reger, Tchaikovsky, Rebikov, and Lyapunov based on Christmas themes, and a couple of Bach transcriptions. Eteri Andjaparidze, whose first CD was a sensational Prokofiev collection, plays this music truly superb musicianship and the kind of pianistic color that has become a rarity. Her Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring is the most beautiful I've heard since Dinu Lipatti's. And wait until you hear her delightful playing of Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride! It's deliciously witty and charming.