Skip to main content

Christmas CD Review: Abigail Winzer: Rejoice (Independent: October 11th 2016)

CD Review:
Abigail Winzer: Rejoice
(Independent: October 11th, 2016)

Buy the CD

If you're in the market for a Christmas album, you'll want to check out Abigail Winzer's debut release, "Rejoice". At 16 years old, Abigail has a beautifully clear soprano that is suited for the timeless repertoire of carols.

Abigail sang in a church choir and trained at the Boston Conservatory at the age of 15. Her voice is complemented by unexpected arrangements that feature the duduk, Irish harp and other imaginative instrumentation such s Irish Whistle, soprano, alto and tenor recorder consort and lute as played by Celtic musician James Spalink.Award winning producer Michael Crittenden is reponsible for the atmospheric arrangements. Crittendon has worked with the likes Todd Rundgren, The Doobie Brothers, Hootie & the Blowfish, John McVey & Peter Frampton among others, and here he plays a variety of instruments including piano and acoustic guitar.International sacred music sensation, Arsen Petrosyan, is a master of the Armenian Duduk, which has a distinctive tone that works well with Abigail's voice.

With all that talent, it's no surprise that some of the highlights come from the purely instrumental arrangements - going from the passages like God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and the extended opening of Silent Night - the duduk has a lovely, mournful quality that resonates through those passages.

This is not a period re-creation, nor an ultra-modern reinvention of the style; the arrangements are expansive and atmospheric. Neither is this a sing-along Christmas CD, but rather a stylistic interpretation of the material. O Come O Come Emmanuel is a highlight, where the voice and instruments are given equal weight and the combination adds depth to the song.
Abigail Winzer

Abigail's voice has a sweet edge to it that suits the Celtic vocal style, in full evidence on her nicely folky treatment of The First Noel. O Come All Ye Faithful is perhaps the most traditional of the arrangements, with the vocals in the spotlight.

Personnel: Abigail Winzer, Lead Vocals.  Michael Crittenden, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Korg m3 Synthesizer, Yamaha P250, Hammond B3 Organ, Tubular Bells, Tamborine, Sleigh Bells, Celeste.  James Spalink, Irish Harp, Irish Whistle, Soprano-Alto-Tenor Recorder, Lute.  Brian Morrill, Cymbal Rolls.  Arsen Petrosyan, Duduk.

At such an youthful age, we can hope to hear much more of Ms Winzer in the years to come. Here's her cover of Burning House to give you a taste.

Comments

What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:

POLINA SEMIONOVA TO APPEAR AS GUEST ARTIST
WITH AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
FOR 2011 SPRING SEASON AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival: Live + Digital Experiences Sept 29–Oct 18 2020

From a media release:Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival
Captivating Live + Digital Experiences on Newly Enhanced Digital PlatformToronto’s premier international dance festival launches curated collection of original content and proprietary programs on new custom-built websiteTORONTO, ON — Fall for Dance North (FFDN) proudly presents the 6th edition of its esteemed international dance festival, The Flip Side, from Sept. 29–Oct. 18, 2020
Featuring a new, Netflix-style digital platform, an enhanced line-up of free programming, and a ticketed signature livestream presentation featuring six world premieres by Canadian dancemakers, FFDN has reimagined the festival experience to offer audiences an intimate connection to the art form of dance during these extraordinary times.Starting on Sept. 29, free programs will be released at ffdnorth.com daily, including an original podcast, a quirky interview series in a bathtub, a poetry + music album, a new dance film featuring 46 Ryerson Schoo…