Kevin Kern | Christmas

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New Age: Solo Instrumental Holiday: New Age Moods: Mood: Christmas
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Christmas

by Kevin Kern

For more than a decade, this Steinway Artist has been synonymous with beautiful, melodic music. This CD presents a piano solo collection of sixteen timeless holiday favorites in his signature style.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Angels We Have Heard On High
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3:02 album only
2. Joy to the World
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3:29 album only
3. Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant
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2:44 album only
4. Away in a Manger
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2:15 album only
5. In the Bleak Midwinter
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3:53 album only
6. Good King Wenceslas
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5:01 album only
7. Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming
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4:07 album only
8. What Child Is This
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2:09 album only
9. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
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3:32 album only
10. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
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3:44 album only
11. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
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2:44 album only
12. O Holy Night
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4:14 album only
13. The First Noel
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3:11 album only
14. O Christmas Tree
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4:38 album only
15. The Holly and the Ivy
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4:11 album only
16. Silent Night
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3:10 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Beginning with his phenomenally successful debut CD, In the Enchanted Garden, Kevin has developed his own unique musical voice where melodies exude lyricism, simplicity, and a directness that touches the heart of the listener.
Though legally blind since birth, his exceptional talent soon became clear. The influence of lifelong friend and mentor, jazz great George Shearing, coupled with a strong classical education helped Kevin to develop an early love of improvisation and an appreciation for the beautiful sound a piano could produce.
Having several Billboard® charting releases, along with numerous international film and TV credits (Oprah, David Letterman, PBS, Mitsubishi), Kevin has acquired a worldwide following. His concert tours have taken him to Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan as well as the United States.
"My whole life, thus far, has been a celebration of that unique bond I have felt with my favorite musical instrument and 'best friend.' The melodies I have written are a testament to that friendship."

The selections on the Christmas CD range from the simplicity of "What Child is This" to the hauntingly beautiful "Lo, How a Rose E er Blooming". He harkens back to his earliest days, closing the collection with "Silent Night", the very first song he learned to play at the tender age of eighteen months.

“Kevin Kern sees the music other musicians can only hear.” ~ Ron Brownlow, Taipei Times


Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
The simply titled "Christmas" marks a very significant milestone in one of my favorite pianist/composer’s career. After more than a decade with Real Music, Kevin Kern has founded his own label and "Christmas" is his first release as an independent artist. While this album is distinctly Kevin Kern’s style with the melodies of these holiday favorites simple and heartfelt, Kern seems to be allowing his jazz roots to show a bit more prominently with rich harmonies and unexpected chord changes as well as some really interesting rhythms. This collection of sixteenth traditional Christmas songs and carols is completely solo piano (as was Kern’s final recording for Real Music Enchanted Piano), something I’ve been hoping for and requesting for a long, long time. If you’ve ever seen Kern perform live, you know what a phenomenal pianist he is, so I’m thrilled to be able to hear Kern’s piano all by itself. The overall tone of the album is very smooth and peaceful with a few auditory surprises (very pleasant ones, I might add!). So, if you’re in the mood for some Christmas music that’s a little different (but not TOO different), this one is an excellent choice! For those of you who are pianists, you’ll be happy to know that there is a companion sheet music book for "Christmas."

"Christmas" begins with “Angels We Have Heard On High” in an arrangement that is both spirited and peaceful, setting the tone of the album. “Joy To the World” is slower than we usually hear it, but the relaxed tempo really brings out the poignance of the melody. “Away in a Manger” is a sweet, graceful, and tender lullaby. A segment of “Good King Wenceslas” found in the John Thompson piano teaching series is the first Christmas song many of us learned as young piano students, so it always surprises me to hear the song fully realized and fleshed out. Kern’s arrangement is in a lively theme and variations format where each verse is in a somewhat different style - a great arrangement! I also really like his take on “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” A bit slower than usual, the contemporary chord voicings make this song sound brand new. “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” is something of a jazz waltz - slow and a little wistful. My favorite track is oddly one of my least-favorite carols - “O Christmas Tree” (probably because I got tired of teaching it to my beginning piano students). Kern’s arrangement is wonderful, and I love that he put some of the verses in a minor key! That really got my attention and brought on a great big grin! The album closes with “Silent Night,” the very first piece Kern ever learned - at the tender age of eighteen months (I don’t think he played this arrangement, though(!!!)). This version is as gentle and peaceful as falling snow and ends this lovely album with a sigh of contentment.

Congratulations to Kevin Kern on his new indie label and first Christmas collection! Very highly recommended!