André Rieu

Superstar Christmas

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Don't be fooled by the big names listed on the cover of this alleged Superstar Christmas disc. The phenomenal popularity of Belgian orchestra leader André Rieu has generated album issues that bear his name but little or none of his creative input. The music recorded here does not represent any kind of collaboration between Rieu, the Vienna Boys' Choir, Luciano Pavarotti, and the other artists billed -- it consists merely of a random group of ancient Christmas recordings in a motley assortment of languages despite the English titles that were so poorly done in some cases that nobody has bothered to spend much energy asserting copyright to them. Sound ranges from adequate to dreadful; the José Carreras Silent Night (track 2), sung in German, is almost unlistenable, and it's hard to hear Plácido Domingo in the "Ingemisco" from Verdi's Four Sacred Pieces (track 14). Other tracks offer occasional moments of enjoyment, but the listener in search of Christmas cheer from Rieu should steer clear of this disc and sample his The Christmas I Love and Christmas with André Rieu releases.

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