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Anderson, L.: Sleigh Ride And Other Holiday Favourites

Anderson, L.: Sleigh Ride And Other Holiday Favourites

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It's hard not to like Leroy Anderson, a skilled orchestral craftsman with a rich supply of clever ideas, an ingratiating musical imagination, and, thank heaven, a sense of humor. Most of his music embodies the term "American light classical", and you can't listen to pieces such as Sleigh Ride or Bugler's Holiday without a smile and feeling just a bit lighter of spirit. The selections featured here, billed as a "collection of Leroy Anderson's holiday music", are taken from Naxos' excellent multi-volume series devoted to Anderson's orchestral music. Although it's not clear why such numbers as Horse and Buggy, The Waltzing Cat, and The Golden Years are here, in style and mood they take nothing away from the more obvious Christmas/holiday pieces. And while it's possible to imagine just a bit more personality and panache in the articulation in some places (à la Boston Pops), Leonard Slatkin is an unqualified expert in this repertoire, and he leads his British orchestra with consummately entertaining style, all of it most favorably recorded.

Four years ago Decca released A Leroy Anderson Christmas, which contains many of the same works featured on this program--performed both by the Boston Pops and Arthur Fiedler (Sleigh Ride) and by Anderson conducting his own orchestra. Although that one is worthy for its historical aspects, this one is superior for its consistently high-quality performances, much more satisfying ambience, and first-rate sound. Highly recommended.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Naxos American Classics
    • UPC/Barcode: 636943962121
    • Item Number: 8559621