Christmas Break: A Relaxing Classical Mix, a compilation of selections from a variety of Telarc releases, does a better job than most albums promising thematically related relaxation. The reasons are that the pieces included are actually mellow and calming (no "Jingle Bell Rock" here), and the performances are almost all of a very high quality, drawn from Telarc's impressive catalog. Performers include the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Seiji Ozawa conducting the Boston Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting the Saint Louis Symphony, Martin Pearlman conducting Boston Baroque, violinist Joseph Silverstein, guitarist David Russell, and the Empire Brass. Their performances of classical works -- such as the "Pastoral Symphony" from Messiah; Lo, how a rose e'er blooming; Jesu, joy of man's desiring; Fantasia on Greensleeves; and a selection from the Four Seasons, as well as an assortment of popular carols, are fully satisfying and do indeed make for a relaxing holiday experience. The sound quality is somewhat variable due to the range of recordings from which these performances are taken, but is generally very good.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Cantata No. 147, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben," BWV 147 (BC A174)|
Fantasia on Greensleeves, for harp, flute & strings (arranged by R. Greaves; from the opera "Sir John In Love")
|Violin Concerto, for violin, strings & continuo in F minor ("L'inverno," The Four Seasons; "Il cimento" No. 4), Op. 8/4, RV 297|
Meditation on Prelude No. 1 of Bach, for violin or cello & piano with organ or cello ad lib. (or other instrumental arrangement)