Julie Andrews

A Christmas Treasure

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Julie Andrews' first musical undertaking since the soundtrack for The Sound of Music, and her first non-soundtrack recording in four years, was this seasonal album, originally issued by Firestone (the tire company) and later picked up by RCA Victor. Andrews seemed to have drawn on a Church of England hymnal for her selections, some of which were unfamiliar to American ears or at least unfamiliar in these versions. "Angels From the Realm of Glory," for example, had a tune famous from Gloria in Excelsis Deo, with Andrews singing "come and worship" in place of the melismatic "gloria" part. André Previn earned his co-billing on the record, taking instrumental versions of "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" and "Greensleeves (What Child Is This?)," featuring himself on harpsichord, and offering unusual arrangements that sometimes suggested the Hollywood movie scores for which he was known. "Sunny Bank (I Saw Three Ships)," for example, had passages that would have fit as accompaniment to a Western, and the chart for "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" was anything but traditional. Along with Andrews' song choices and her proper, if warm, vocals, the result was an appealing but somewhat formal Christmas album.

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