I love a good classical music Christmas album. In fact, I've already put together a list of my all-time favorite Christmas CDs. (View my Top 10 Classical Music Christmas CDs.) However, everyone has their own list of favorites, many of which are not included in mine. In an effort to bring light to those great Christmas albums, I've put together a list of highly rated albums based on their Amazon.com user reviews.
With an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, this album is very highly rated. And after listening to several of the tracks, it's easy to see why. The music, recorded in the 1950s, definitely has an "older" sound with traditional strings and angelic choirs. The traditional holiday classics recording is raw and unprocessed - organic, if you will - and I find that very refreshing and nostalgic.
With over 300 reviews, Straight No Chaser's Christmas album, Holiday Spirit, has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Given my performance background (I used to sing in a men's octet), I'm surprised I haven't come across this album sooner. It's fantastic! It's performed entirely a Cappella, and the voices blend together as well as butter and mashed potatoes. If you've ever watched Glee, you'll find the musical style very similar, if not identical, to the Wobblers.
There's no denying Josh Groban possesses an incredibly beautiful voice. In fact, it is the forefront of every track on this anthem-like Christmas album. Each song on the album is a spectacular holiday performance powerful enough to exist on its own. The only weaknesses I found were the songs sung in languages other than English - his voice seemed a little thin and stretched. Overall, though, this is definitely a solid Christmas album. And with over 700 reviews with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, I'm not the only one who feels this way.
Here's a great compilation album with a handful of orchestras and choirs, including the Vienna Boys Choir, Ronnie Aldrich and his 2 pianos, Mantovani & His Orchestra, and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus. Similar to Percy Faith's album, you'll find traditional recordings of the most popular Christmas classics. With 4.7 out of 5 stars, this album is definitely loved.
I cannot get enough of Beegie Adair's Christmas jazz music albums. For me, they are absolutely perfect. Several of her albums have made their way onto my Top 10 Christmas music list, and I might just have to expand it to 11 to include this one. This album features Beejie Adair on the piano accompanying her talented solo instrumentalist friends including Jack Jezzro, Sam Levine, Denis Solee, and George Tidwell. It's rated 4.9 out of 5 stars.
Prior to being a featured performer in Beegie Adair's Christmas Jazz album listed above, Jack Jezzro was busy creating his own Christmas album, Bossa Nova Christmas. With a handful of his own friends, Jezzro's album is less piano centric. It's certainly a nice break, or respite for some, from the usual holiday pop music. And like all the albums listed above, it comes highly rated with 4.7 out 5 stars.
With over 40 tracks and an average rating of 4.9 stars, this album would make a great addition to your classical music Christmas collection - and with a cost of only $7.99, you're getting a great bargain. It's packed with unforgettable operatic stars like Pavarotti, Price, Tibaldi, Horne, and more. It's the most "operatic" album of the entire bunch, but the Christmas spirit remains nonetheless.