Brad Smith | The Gift - A Christmas Celebration

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The Gift - A Christmas Celebration

by Brad Smith

Welcomed with rave reviews upon it's release, "The Gift" is a timeless collection of Christmas favorites featuring the Oboe and English Horn accompanied by stunningly beautiful instrumental arrangements which also features guitar, cello, violin and harp.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
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3:14 $0.99
2. Deck the Halls
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2:51 $0.99
3. O Come, C Come Emmanuel
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2:21 $0.99
4. Away in a Manger
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2:37 $0.99
5. Little Drummer Boy
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3:06 $0.99
6. O Holy Night
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7:25 $0.99
7. Good King Wenceslas
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3:06 $0.99
8. What Child is This
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3:09 $0.99
9. Psalm 23
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2:18 $0.99
10. The First Noel
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3:36 $0.99
11. Silent Night
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4:40 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The concept for "The Gift" was formed by oboist Brad Smith with a dream of bringing his love for the oboe and english horn and the music of Christmas together. Wanting to share his dream with others, he called upon his friend, composer James Prigmore, who shared a common goal of creating something beautiful. Work began choosing the repertoire and defining the ideas and feelings they wanted to express though their music. The final product is a collection of eleven songs, some with full orchestration and others a more intimate approach with only a few solo instruments. To bring these songs to life, Brad enlisted the talents of another good friend, conductor Daniel Hege. Together, Brad, James and Dan spent many hours fine tuning their ideas about what they wanted the music to convey. In Brad's words, "There was an immediate rapport among us. Our musical ideas were so similar that it made the entire process a magical experience and I believe that can be heard in the music."

Visit the Brad Smith Website:
www.bradsmithoboe.com

"THE GIFT is superb holiday listening" "An instant classic"
"A Gift of pure musical joy"
(Salt Lake Tribune)

"Richly rewarding and refined" "A contemporary classical masterpiece!"
(Christmasreviews.com)



Biographies

Soloist

Brad Smith currently holds the position of Oboe and English Horn with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to moving to Kalamazoo in 1997 Brad was Principal Oboe with the Ballet West Orchestra and the Utah Chamber Orchestra in Salt Lake City, Utah for eight seasons. He has also performed with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, the Utah Opera Company Orchestra, the Las Vegas Symphony, the Aspen Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Anchorage Symphony, the Windsor Symphony (CANADA) and the Grand Rapids Symphony. As a studio musician he has played for numerous television and feature film scores and his Christmas album "The Gift" has received both critical and commercial success throughout the United States and Canada.

At the age of thirteen Brad began studies with Holly Gornik, English Horn Soloist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra (Holly has a wonderful CD, "Gabriel's Oboe" here at CD Baby. Please take a listen!). He has also worked with John deLancie, Alex Klein, Ray Still, Richard Killmer, Tom Stacy and Shelley Heron.

Brad shares his life with his wife Wendy Rose, professor of Bassoon at Western Michigan University, and their son Alexander.


Arranger

For more that thirty years James Prigmore has been the Musical Director, Conductor and Composer in Residence for the Pioneer Theater Company in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a composer and arranger in Hollywood he composed numerous scores for movies and television in addition to over five hundred original pieces he has written since the age of fourteen, with an emphasis on music for piano, voice and theater.


Conductor

Daniel Hege is widely recognized as one of America's finest young conductors, earning critical acclaim for his fresh interpretations of the standard repertoire and for his commitment to creative programming.

Mr. Hege was named Music Director of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra in April 1999, and is, concurrently, the Music Director of the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra. His previous positions include Music Director of the Haddonfield Symphony (New Jersey), Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, Music Director of the Encore Chamber Orchestra in Chicago and Music Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, where he was twice honored by the American Symphony Orchestra League for innovative programming. In June 2001, he finished a six-year tenure with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, where he held the titles of Assistant, Associate and Resident Conductor.

In the spring of 1990, Mr. Hege began making headlines when he won a national conducting competition and became Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation (YMF) Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles. He was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and Director of Instrumental Music for the Orange County High School of the Arts in the spring of 1991. He also served as Principal Conductor of Disney's Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra, where he worked with such artists as Henry Mancini, John Williams, Branford Marsalis, Doc Severinsen and Dudley Moore, leading concerts televised nationally by the Disney Channel to more than 50 million viewers.

Under the artistic leadership of Mr. Hege, the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra has released its first recordings in over 20 years: a live Classics Concert CD of works by Verdi, Barber, Debussy, Respighi and James Johnson, released in 2000, and the SSO's latest release, Holiday Pops. Mr. Hege has several other recordings to his credit, including a disc of works by Adolphus Hailstork with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Morgan State University Choir, and a CD on the Cedille label, which was nominated for a 1998 NPR Heritage Award, Violin Concertos by Black Composers of the 18th and 19th Centuries, with the Encore Chamber Orchestra of Chicago. He also recorded THE GIFT, a collection of Christmas arrangements on Woodland Records, with oboist Brad Smith.

Mr. Hege resides in Jamesville, New York, with his wife Katarina and their three daughters.


Reviews


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Jeri Crook


I love this CD. It is the first Christmas CD I play each year and I play it over and over again.

Maureen Kraemer

Wonderful!
I love this CD because I am particularly fond of the oboe. It is beautiful music and I like every song.

JACINTO

BEAUTIFUL
WHAT CAN I SAY ,THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!!! A CLASSIC!! THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC!

Carol Swanson

Richly rewarding and refined, Brad Smith's The Gift is a contemporary classical
Everything about The Gift: A Christmas Celebration is first class. The musicianship is outstanding, and the recording is top notch. This album is a terrific choice for those desiring a classical instrumental album that is exquisitely lovely and precise without being terribly heavy or overbearing. At 38 minutes, this elegant album flashed by; I wish it had been twice as long!

Douglas Bush

The recording is delightful in every way!
The arrangements and the performances are engaging, fresh, sensitive and delightful in every way...it has become one of my favorite holiday instrumental recordings. I bought a copy for each of my children and for a couple of friends as well--response has been enthusiastic!

Pal Pusztai

Beautiful!
Particularly wonderful recording featuring the oboe and English horn. The sole and orchestral arrangements are superb! I hope a sequel of other Christmas tunes will be in the works in the future!

G. Taylor

I love this recording!
I love this recording! I bought three copies, one for myself and one for each of my two new grandbabies, who should know beauty from infancy.

Fred Behning

Wonderful Christmas Listening!
We've added Brad Smith's CD "The Gift" to our list of favorite Christmas albums. The beauty and relaxed mood of the playing and arrangements sets the perfect tone for a fireside evening with dear friends and family to share the glow of the season. I bought several copies for gifts to other oboists, and all have enjoyed it immensely.

G. Warlick

A wonderful gift of oboe music to share.
This is a favorite Christmas cd with beautiful instrumental arrangements and gorgeous oboe playing. I bought 8 copies as gifts for my oboe students to add to their oboe cd library.

Lethia Smith

Best Christmas CD Ever!
This has been my favorite Christmas CD since purchasing it in 1996. I've searched in vain to buy it for friends - until now. The arrangements of Oh Holy Night, Silent Night, and Away in a Manger are stunning. The English Horn, Violin, oboe, and guitar blend and contrast beautifully!