The stars must have been aligned perfectly, all must have been right with the world on that night of December 8, 1991 in NYC's Carnegie Hall when this Christmas concert was filmed, because it is an example, one of those rare instances when everything falls into place perfectly. On this particular night Kathleen Battle, Frederica Von Stade, Wynton Marsalis and Andre Previn performed, not only with their instruments but with their hearts as well. All the performers relate and connect to this often performed material in ways others simply do not. This is secular Holiday music performed with fervor and an emotional connection that borders on the religious. The highlight of this recording is the 17 minute "American Songs" (I Wonder as I Wander, Who Was Mary, etc) performed primarily by Battle and Von Stade that is so exquisite as to be otherworldly. Christmas Concerts can be corny or at worst, maudlin. But on this particular night in 1991, the angels sang and the heavens opened and called forth these artists to perform not only with their voices but with their souls as well. This is an emotional experience that is not to be missed.
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