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Holidays! 🎄 THE OFFICIAL REVIEW: [Album] "CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT" SP-4726

How Would You Rate This Album?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 43 78.2%
  • ****

    Votes: 11 20.0%
  • ***

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.8%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    55

Must Hear This Album

Well-Known Member
The reason for this is because composer Irving Berlin refused granting permission in the publishing of the lyrics, even to his closest colleagues. The song was never published in any major book publication, however only as an individual piece of sheet music through Hal Leonard publishing.
Thanks for this. Very helpful, as that little note has never made sense to me. I guess the note is better than: “Sorry, we couldn’t get the publishing rights for these lyrics!”

Funny that it was something so mundane as publishing rights...
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Thanks for this. Very helpful, as that little note has never made sense to me. I guess the note is better than: “Sorry, we couldn’t get the publishing rights for these lyrics!”

Funny that it was something so mundane as publishing rights...
One other song from Christmas Portrait that has had publishing rights issues is It's Christmas Time, as the official Piano/Vocal songbook from Hal Leonard mentions that the rights to the song were unattainable.
 

Guitarmutt

Active Member
I don't know about you others, but I bought the newest Japanese re release of Christmas Portrait. I still love this line up of songs, but I have to ask. Is there a release besides the original that does not include the choir on Ave Maria? It's on here too, and I was hoping it wasn't.

I've not heard the German version. How does it compare?

Overall, this sounds great, and I'm glad it doesn't have the 90's effects of the 2 cd set. Still, I'm curious. ????
 

Guitarmutt

Active Member
Well, now, I'm listening again, she does sound rather reverb-y. Have to compare again. I was hoping for a copy of the original, but it might be a copy of a copy. Yet, and still, I love the songs, in this order.

Merry Christmas to one and all!!!
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Let Go...Let God (ONJ)
The only place your going to find Ave Maria without the choir is the original LP and the rare German Pressing on CD. I managed to secure 2 German Pressing CD's for my collection, always good to have a spare especially after I ruined one copy I had. I also have a mint white label promo LP that sounds amazing. I really dislike all the reverb in the re- issues.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
I love this album...5 stars, absolutely! This is my "go to" album during the Christmas season. Forget Mannheim Steamroller, Bing Crosby, Country Christmas, Mariah Carey, etc. The one track on this album that completely destroys me is; I'll Be Home For Christmas. Karen's unbelievably beautiful vocals dredge up such emotions! The intro to the album is great with the Richard arranged instrumentals leading into the exquisite KC vocals. I like the fact that they pay tribute to the Lord (the reason for the season). Ave Maria and Christ Is Born wonderfully sung by Karen brings such poignancy to the recording. And of course, Merry Christmas Darling has become a standard that is now on the play lists of most holiday music stations. IMHO; this album is a "must have" for any holiday music collection.
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
Just realised that the Vocal Arrangements for the original Spike Jones album whom Richard sought out to do their album - Jud Conlon, also did some of those gorgeous vocal pieces from Disney's Alice and Pan in the '50's.

As Richard stated, he passed away in '66, and May/Knight do a spectacular job, but always fun to see how interests (my interests at least) tie together.

Neil
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
"He Came Here For Me" from AOFC gets me every time. Especially the last line; delivered with appropriate effect from Karen.
I also like "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day", especially the line 'God is not dead nor doth he sleep'. Unfortunately, while Karen's vocals are pretty good, Richard's arrangement leaves much to be desired (this is one track that I really wish Richard would re-record the backing for, as it currently sounds very gloomy with no trace of the 'Bells' that Karen is singing about---every Christmas I prefer listening to Burl Ives' version because, while it is similar to Karen's in terms of tempo, it doesn't sound as gloomy).
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Please note:
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
was arranged by Peter Knight.

Many of the non-secular Christmas songs are incredibly beautifully nuanced by Karen.
Of course, a number of tunes ,
Invocation-Benediction, Love is Surrender come to mind,
were inspired from "above" !
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Of course, a number of tunes ,
Invocation-Benediction, Love is Surrender come to mind,
were inspired from "above" !
I never thought of Love is Surrender as a religious song. They make it sound like a simple but great pop song.
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
I never thought of Love is Surrender as a religious song. They make it sound like a simple but great pop song.
It is a contemporary Christian song. The lyrics were adapted slightly for the Carpenters version. These are the lyrics as originally written and performed by Ralph Carmichael:

1.
Talk about love
how it makes life complete
You can talk all you want
make it sound nice and sweet,
But the words have an empty ring,
and they don't really mean a thing,

Chorus:
Without Him love is not to be found;
not to be found.
For love is surrender,
Love is surrender to His will
Love is surrender to His will

2.
Sing about love
and the strength it can give
You can sing how you're ready
to face life and live,
But you know as the days go by
that no matter how hard you try,

Chorus

3.
Shout about love
and the wars will all end
You can shout we're all brothers
and even pretend
But you can't cover up the past
just pretending we'll never last,

Chorus
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I'm currently listening to this album right now (West German CD version). It's November 1, so as far as I am concerned, it is open season on Christmas and Christmas music. It's still amazing how this album just seems to flow. With most Christmas albums, and even non-seasonal albums, in general, you'll have a pause in between every track, and the way the pause is you know that the album is going on to the next track. Whereas with Christmas Portrait, both sides sound like medleys or like a performance that you would hear at an orchestra concert, where one tracks flows into another, or if there is a break in between songs, its a dramatic break in order to switch from one tempo to another.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Man, I must be getting into the holiday spirit. I put on this wonderful album and am currently listening. The more I hear it, the more I am convinced in is a masterpiece. I hope my family is ready, because I am going to be wearing this out for the next 6 weeks or so. The attention to detail in this album is amazing. Little nuances that make the listening experience so unforgettable. I absolutely love the way they frame traditional songs with the little "intro", and feel this is what sets the duo apart from the other more traditional recordings. Of course, Karen's vocals, what can I say? Let the water works begin.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Recently I’ve been hearing “Sleigh Ride” played on a certain store’s radio, as well as another singers version of “Merry Christmas, Darling”.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Karen's vocal performance on Christ Is Born; OTHERWORLDLY! Would love to hear this song played on contemporary holiday music stations but I have not. Probably considered too "religious" maybe?; although you hear O Holy Night and Silent Night played continually.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Karen's vocal performance on Christ Is Born; OTHERWORLDLY! Would love to hear this song played on contemporary holiday music stations but I have not. Probably considered too "religious" maybe?; although you hear O Holy Night and Silent Night played continually.
For some reason this year, whether I’m in a store or just turn on the radio, I’m not hearing the religious carols like “Silent Night” (although you hear references), but in general I’m hearing just the secular songs like the Carpenters version of “Sleigh Ride” or Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas”.
 
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