David Hicken | Carols of Christmas

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Holiday: Classical New Age: Solo Instrumental Moods: Mood: Christmas
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Carols of Christmas

by David Hicken

Christmas Carols by Solo Piano Artist, David Hicken
Genre: Holiday: Classical
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Bell Carol
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3:46 $0.99
2. In The Bleak Midwinter
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4:02 $0.99
3. What Child Is This? / We Three Kings
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3:17 $0.99
4. Adeste Fideles
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3:28 $0.99
5. The Holly and the Ivy
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3:38 $0.99
6. Christmas in Tettenhall
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3:04 $0.99
7. Once In Royal David's City
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4:11 $0.99
8. Silent Night
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4:22 $0.99
9. The First Nowell
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3:22 $0.99
10. O Christmas Tree
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3:18 $0.99
11. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
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3:44 $0.99
12. Away in a Manger
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3:42 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
David Hicken is an English Composer & Pianists who lives on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. His passion is creating beautiful music that inspires a sense of peace, joy and harmony.


Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
One of the side-effects of teaching piano lessons for three decades and reviewing music for about fifteen years is that it can be be very difficult to get excited about Christmas music. Well, David Hicken has reawakened the Christmas music spark with his new solo piano "Carols of Christmas"! The album contains eleven traditional carols (not counting a couple of medleys) and one original piece. Some are big and flashy and others are much softer and more subdued - a perfect blend of styles and moods!

Hicken made a big splash is 2007 and 2008 with three solo piano CDs and companion sheet music books in quick succession - Goddess, Faeries, and Angels - and then more or less disappeared for five years. I was thrilled to hear from him a couple of weeks ago and even more thrilled when I heard Carols of Christmas and edited the soon-to-be-released sheet music book. A virtuoso organist as well as an amazing pianist, Hicken founded The David Hicken School of Music a few years ago in Honolulu where he has a full roster of students.

"Carols of Christmas" begins with a jaw-dropping arrangement of “The Bell Carol” (aka “Carol of the Bells”). I’ve heard and played some great arrangements of this carol, but this one tops ‘em all. (It’s also a blast to play!!!) Fast and intense as well as haunting, Hicken even sneaks in a little “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”! Sparkling, magical, and WOW!!! “In the Bleak Midwinter” is just about the opposite of “The Bell Carol.” Slow and graceful with a touch of melancholy, it’s a beauty. The medley of “What Child Is This?” and “We Three Kings” is another favorite. Hicken plays both melodies fairly traditionally, but the lively left hand rhythm and somewhat faster tempo give them a distinctive new style that really works. “Adeste Fideles” (“O Come, All Ye Faithful”) begins quietly and reverently for the first verse. The second verse is played in the upper treble of the piano, gradually building to the third verse, which is both showy and elegant. The tender and gentle “The Holly and The Ivy” follows, dancing lightly on the keys - one of the best arrangements I’ve heard. “Christmas In Tettenhall” is the one original piece on the album. Flowing and upbeat, my guess is that it expresses happy childhood Christmas memories. Hicken cleverly pairs “Silent Night” with “Still, Still, Still” to convey lovely images of snow falling in the moonlight and a night of perfect peace. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” is joyful and celebratory, and Hicken’s inclusion of a passage from Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” is a happy surprise. “Away In a Manger” ends this outstanding Christmas album with a sweet lullaby for the Prince of Peace.

"Carols of Christmas" is stellar from the first note to the last! I give it my highest recommendation!

Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
As a prolific composer and recording artist, David Hicken has released a number of diverse albums over the years. The latest is a collection of his solo piano versions of Christmas classics that in addition to emanating holiday cheer, serves as a showcase for David’s formidable musical talent. It’s hard not to be awed by the opening track on the album, “The Bell Carol,” which is David’s up-tempo version of the classic “Carol of the Bells.” His technique is absolutely stunning and the arrangement is certainly unique. This piece makes an ultimate “first impression” and piques our interest for what is to follow. The listener has an opportunity to catch their breath on track 2, “In The Bleak Midwinter,” which provides a yin and yang comparison to the first song. Its wistful refrain and measured cadence reveal an entirely different facet of David’s musical spectrum. While the first piece dazzles with its virtuosity, this one has more of an emotional resonance.

Another popular carol David offers his elegant rendition of is “Adeste Fideles,” which is also known as “O Come All Ye Faithful.” As mentioned, some of the tracks on the album offer a contrast in style and tempo from one song to the next, yet in this one, that contrast is evident within the piece as it evolves. One of my favorite pieces on the album was “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” The reason for that is not anything I can put in analytical terms, but is purely in the emotional response it evoked in me. I found David’s version of this beautiful classic to be quite moving and uplifting. Although it is performed on solo piano, I could almost hear choirs of angels singing as the song built to a climax.

While the album features traditional carols David grew up with and carry their share of nostalgia, his interpretation of them is innovative and illuminated by the light of his own unique musical persona. The word “virtuoso” is sometimes used a bit too liberally, but in the case of David Hicken it is well deserved. The combination of stellar technique, passionate performance, and creative vision that David brings to this album make “Carols of Christmas” one of the most impressive holiday releases I’ve heard this season.


To read a full length review of this CD, and others, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com

Bill Durbin

Best Christmas Album I've heard in years
This CD is simply awesome. These are some of the best arrangements of Christmas songs that I've ever heard. The Bell Carol is based on Carol of the Bells and sounds like it would be super difficult. What Child is This is intertwined with We Three Kings, and the other tracks are just divine. I highly recommend this CD.