About This CD
This is the perfect Christmas gift. "Christmas Treasures" is a collection of beautiful but little-known Christmas carols from around the world, sung by Eileen Mager's warm and clear voice. The accompaniments are arranged and performed by Ellen Brown, using sounds carefully chosen to reflect each carol's culture of origin. The carols are sung in their original languages and in English.
Christmas is the season for which more music has been written than any other - gorgeous music, touching music, charming music, grand music, light-hearted music, even funny music. Some Christmas music was written by famous composers, and some by people whose names will never be known. And the sad thing is that most of it is only rarely heard. The artists wanted to share a very special kind of delightful Christmas carol: The kind you don't hear all the time, and may never have heard at all.
The carols on this recording are, of course, celebratory of the Christmas story. But they also give insights into the cultures from which they come, because each culture expresses the Christmas story in its own metaphor. For example, you find echo carols (like "Als ich bei meinen Schafen wacht") coming from Alpine countries, where there are echoes aplenty. The Huron Indian carol, "'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime" speaks of wrapping the baby Jesus in a ragged rabbit skin.
Make this lovely and engaging recording a part of your own personal Christmas tradition.
Eileen Mager, soprano
Eileen studied voice with Marie S. Kraft at the Cleveland Institute of Music, with Julia LeVine in Chicago, and now works with John Merwin in Scottsdale. She began singing professionally in Chicago, moved with her husband to California, and then to Arizona in 1982. She is one of that rare breed: a recitalist. She is a leading performer for the Arizona Vivaldi Festivals, sings with the Arizona chamber choir Cantemus, and is a frequent solo performer in Arizona churches and concert venues. She was Artistic Director for the 2000-2001 Arizona Vivaldi Festival. Her repertoire is very broad - from opera to jazz, Broadway to folk, classical religious works to spirituals and gospels - and her performances have included works of more than 80 composers, in 15 languages.
Ellen Brown, piano and keyboard
Versatility is the word to use when describing Ellen Brown. A native of Ohio, she was educated in classical music and holds the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Mount Union College, and the Master of Music degree from Arizona State University, but her musical tastes go far beyond the classics. She has performed in a wide variety of musical venues, including doing two-piano jazz concers with her husband Glenn Brown, accompanying for opera stars, jazz singers, Broadway shows, and classical organ concerts. She has arranged and accompanied for the McGuire Sisters, and for Metropolitan and New York City Opera singers Robers Hale, Richard McKee, and Patricia Miller. She is currently a professional church organist and choir director, and a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Phoenix College.