Sacred Christmas [Star Song]

London Philharmonic Orchestra

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Sacred Christmas [Star Song] Review

by Blair Sanderson

The choruses and medleys on Star Song's 2007 release Sacred Christmas may have been intended to represent the religious side of the holiday, but its bombastic arrangements for an unidentified mixed chorus, an uncredited children's choir, the anonymously conducted London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Festival Orchestra seem better suited to a Broadway revue than to spiritual reflection. To the extent that people would want these revered carols secularized, or even commercialized, then this album fills the bill, for there really isn't much of a devotional feeling in these performances. Instead, the chorus sings with a fulsome cheerfulness that seems almost manic in some numbers -- the Canticle of Joy is embarrassingly giddy -- though they are at least calm and respectful in a few quieter arrangements -- for instance, The City of David and the Infant medleys -- where perkiness would seem out of place. Still, listeners are good at detecting insincerity and kitsch in their Christmas music, and there's little chance this disc will impress anyone with its glitzy orchestration and heavy-handed versions of the best-known hymns and carols. However, this is the kind of aggressively upbeat music one expects to hear in stores or on the radio during the season, so it obviously has an audience.

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