CD

Yuletide Celebration Vol. One

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra;

Jack Everly, principal pops conductor & "Yuletide Celebration" music director

$20 at Hilbert Circle Theatre Box Office & in Hilbert Circle Theatre lobby at performances; 639-4300, (800) 366-8457 or www.IndianapolisSymphony.org Peeling bells, bursting into big-screen surround sound, open and close this spectacular album, heralding the festive spirit of its contents and the holiday season it's celebrating. Under the baton of Jack Everly, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is exhilarating in delivering a range from pop to ecclesiastical. Players and sections are highlighted in arrangements that invite listeners to rethink familiar tunes that include "Winter Wonderland," "Silent Night" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

With 17 production numbers, each equally meticulous in execution, it's perhaps unfair to single out favorites from Yuletide Celebration Vol. One. Yet, Everly's adaptation of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" delightfully adds to the canon through innovative lyrics and arrangements. Philip Palermo's violin solo for "Fantasia on Greensleeves" is a sweet, lyrical interpretation of Everly's fine addition to R. Vaughn Williams' composition. Vocalists Benjamin Brecher, Scott Tucker and Chad Freeburg are eloquent in Everly's arrangement of three favorites: "Gesù Bambino," "Panis Angelicus" and "O Holy Night." Sandi Patty's distinctive soprano brings lightness to "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and depth to "O Holy Night."

While the ISO's recording history dates to 1941 with a total of 37 albums, this is its first pops CD. "'Yuletide Celebration' has been ongoing for 19 years in Indianapolis. It's now the third generation of audiences who are coming to the annual holiday shows," commented Richard R. Hoffert, ISO president and CEO.

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