There are several hints of Lianna Klassen's love of Narnia in the packaging of her new CD. One interior picture shows her in a winter woods beside a lone lamppost - you expect to see a faun with an umbrella coming through the snow. As you open the CD cover, designed to look like a storybook, you find the story she is telling is not fantasy, but the story of Christ's birth.
Rather than offering a traditional collection of carols, Lianna tells stories to present Christmas. Most of the compositions are her originals. Both "Zecharia's Song" and "The Women's Song" paraphrase biblical characters such as Mary, Elizabeth, Anna, and Zecharia. "The Wise Men Interlude" worshipfully reminds us "wise men still seek, the Messiah of all."
A highlight is her beautifully simple "Gloria Deo" with the angel choir represented by her multi-layered vocals in a style reminiscent of Máire Brennan or Enya. The song's appeal comes also through lyrics that simply present the story without explaining how to interpret it.
Listeners will find two traditional tunes, the standard "O Little Town of Bethlehem", and the somewhat more obscure "Huron Carol", which Klassen presents with her indigenous North American influences.
If you seek to fill your home each December with Christmas music that helps you reflect on Christ's incarnation, this CD will be a fine addition to your library.