Jennifer Haines | Christmas Magic: Solo Piano

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Holiday: Classical Moods: Mood: Christmas
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Christmas Magic: Solo Piano

by Jennifer Haines

Unique takes on traditional Christmas carols. Lyrical and dreamy, this album is the star of the Christmas tree, and the snow of a lovely white Christmas Eve. Sheet music from this album is available at www.usfourmusic.com
Genre: Holiday: Classical
Release Date: 

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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Christmas to me is more than just a day. It is a collection of lovely feelings and memories that multiplies each passing year. One of my favorite Christmas memories happened one night when I was a child. My dad, sister and I were lying on the living room floor with nothing but the Christmas tree lights for illumination. Those lights shone like stars on the ceiling, and in the background, ever so softly, the Christmas music played. The combination of soft lights and beautiful music was magical. That night was one of the most peaceful nights of my life. I hope that this album will not only remind you of such Christmases gone by, but also that
it would be a part of new memories yet to come.
--Jennifer Haines

Reviews:

Like electricity moving through a bare wire, Christmas Magic, Jennifer Haines new CD of solo piano arrangments of traditional carols, is full of channeled energy. The emotional tension is controlled and directed, but audible in every note she plays. At the same time, there is a soothing quality to her play, because the tension is constant, the volume modulated, the force contained.

The choice of songs is apropos to her treatments, consisting entirely of "serious" Christmas carols, with Good King Wenceslas the most lighthearted of her selections. She chooses to open with a meandering arrangement combining Noël Nouvelet with Veni, Veni, Emanuel. Meandering as a river, contemplative, and deep with power and meaning.

Christmas Magic is notable in its ability to maintain its intensity through fifteen songs and fifty minutes. Though not lighthearted, neither is there any hint of darkness. Pensive, but positive, Jennifer Haines guides the listener down a powerful but slow-moving river of traditional refrains, offering both comfort and contemplation in full measure.

--Richard Banks
http://www.christmasreviews.com
---------------

I just finished listening to the Christmas CD you sent, and thought you'd like to know it will be noted as a Recording of Exceptional Merit on my program, and will be prominent in my newspaper column. There are over 100 solo piano Christmas recordings on my shelves, so it really says something that yours could still catch my ear as something different, yet thoroughly in the Christmas spirit.

--Gerry Grzyb,
Host of the Dr. Christmas radio shows on WRST-FM
---------------

The Cure for the Common Carol...

I know, I know – what in the world do you need with another Christmas carol album? Well, you’re wrong, and I’m here to write you a simple prescription for the common carol – Jennifer Haines’ new album, Christmas Magic.

For those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of listening to this amazing young solo pianist – this is a great album to start with. The melodies – though renditions of the “same old songs” you hear every holiday season – are unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Jennifer Haines is one of the few artists I’ve found in this world with the ability to create music that inspires more than just a musical experience, she somehow manages to transform it into an emotional, nearly mystical one. In Christmas Magic, her creative compositions have integrated a hauntingly beautiful deep and dark gravity that perfectly embodies the spirit of Winter. Unlike so many new albums that keep you constantly skipping through songs to reach “the best one”, from the moment you put the CD in and press play, you’ll enter into a meditative, introspective journey that lasts from beginning to end. And, in all honesty, the chances are that you’ll find yourself still plugging it in well after the ice and snow have melted away and the Spring thaw has arrived.

So, if you’re looking for a great gift to spoil yourself (or someone else) with, you’ll be hard-pressed finding another holiday album that can light a candle to this one.

--Jennifer Gibbs
www.jennifergibbs.com


Reviews


to write a review

Kathy Parsons

Different piano arrangements of holiday gems!
“Christmas Magic” is Jennifer Haines’ fifth album to date, and is comprised of fifteen solo piano arrangements of traditional Christmas pieces. The arrangements are very stylized and played in a gentle flowing manner that remains consistent throughout the album. Thoughtful and reflective, these are more serious songs (no “Jingle Bells” or Santa tunes), meant to soothe and uplift. Haines’ playing isn’t flashy, but the arrangements are well-thought out and lovely to listen to, presenting these well-worn holiday nuggets in an original style that is decidedly different. If you aren’t looking at the liner notes, it could take a moment or two to figure out which song is playing - something I happen to like since I teach so much Christmas music to my own piano students. This might encourage you to listen to this CD at various times throughout the year as well as during the holidays.

Haines’ arrangement of “O Holy Night” is much quieter than it is usually played. Often complex and powerful, this version is peaceful and subdued. “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” is often big and brassy, but this is more of a sweet good wish or even a prayer. “Still, Still, Still” recalls a childhood dream of snow falling, and has a gentle, dreamy sparkle. I really like this version of “The Coventry Carol.” Dark and somber, Haines’ use of deep bass notes adds to the drama and poignance of the piece. Her calm yet intense arrangement of “Carol of the Bells” is also especially nice. Haines gives “Angels We Have Heard On High” a new rhythm that’s really interesting and refreshing. “Silent Night” is also very different. With original harmonies and a minor key, it still tells of perfect peace. “We Three Kings” lends itself well to a variety of treatments, and this one is very contemporary with a changing rhythm and improvisational touches. “Good King Wenceslas” is often jaunty and upbeat, but this version is flowing and rather poignant.

If you are looking for a Christmas album that sets a peaceful mood and keeps it, and provides arrangements that are different, “Christmas Magic” could be a perfect choice. I also really like the original cover artwork! Very nice!

Jesse Gomez

Christmas Magic!!
Jennifer does it again with beautiful solos of the sounds of Christmas. I can hardly wait for her next CD!!

Melissa Roland

enchanting, a deep side of christmas
The cd "Christmas Magic" by Jennifer Haines has become a 'must-have' to my christmas collection. Keeping the Christmas spirit in a deep and meaningful way, every song warms your heart and touches you with it's contemplative movement. You've never heard a more beautiful version of Silent Night (stille nocht) or captivating rendition of O Holy Night. I will enjoy this cd during the holidays and all year long.