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Christmas Symphony

Mannheim Steamroller

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Album Review

It just wouldn't feel like a proper Christmas without something new from Mannheim Steamroller to ring in the yuletide cheer. American Gramaphone's Christmas Symphony collects familiar Steamroller holiday classics and expands them with the help of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Listeners looking for something new from the popular new age-pop/classical crossover/electro-prog outfit may come away from the project a tad disappointed, as the 16 featured tracks are essentially just orchestral versions (with electronic and percussive flourishes) of previous Christmas offerings like “Deck the Halls,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Stille Nacht,” and “Carol of the Birds,” but the increased presence of more organic textures does manage to liven up some of the more dated-sounding keyboard patches and unnecessary drum fills, resulting in a solid, if still a bit corny, collection of seasonal splendor that’s been updated for the 21st century.

Customer Reviews

Good!

I know, I know....the same songs. BUT, I like the "new" sound, taking out most of the synths and using all orchestra instruments. Gives the old a new fresh sound. If you're a fan, you will enjoy this album.

Christmas Symphony Album

I have always loved M.S. and this new sound is very clean and clear, it is refreshing. I went back and compared it to albums from the past that I adored and I find I'm ready for the sound to be more orchestral. Thanks for the change!

Not "just the same old songs"

I also love the live orchestral taking precedence over the synth sounds. These arrangements will always be classics, yet they never fail to excite and move me more than any other Christmas music. Thanks, MS!

Biography

Formed: 1975 in Omaha, NE

Genre: Holiday

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The alias of composer Chip Davis, Mannheim Steamroller was among the pioneers of neo-classical electronic music, emerging as one of the driving forces behind the new age phenomenon. Born in Sylvania, OH, Davis' father was a high school music teacher, while his mother was a trombonist with Phil Spitalny's All Girl Orchestra. His grandmother was his first music teacher, giving the child his initial piano lessons at the age of four; two years later, Davis composed his first piece, a four-part chorale...
Full Bio
Christmas Symphony, Mannheim Steamroller
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