Christmas Portraits Rick Wakeman
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- 1The First Noel03:24
- Gustav Holst (1874 - 1934):
- 2In The Bleak Midwinter03:39
- Traditional, William J. Kirkpatrick (1838 - 1921):
- 3Deck The Halls / Away In A Manger03:31
- Jester Hairston (1901 - 2000), Traditional:
- 4The Holly & The Ivy / Mary's Boy Child03:30
- Franz Xaver Gruber (1787 - 1863):
- 5Silent Night03:32
- 6God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Angels from the Realms of Glory04:02
- 7O Come All Ye Faithful / Hark The Herald Angels Sing / See Amid the Winter Snow04:21
- Lewis Redner (1831 - 1908):
- 8O Little Town Of Bethlehem04:13
- Ciro Dammicco (b. 1947), Traditional:
- 9I Saw Three Ships / When A Child Is Born03:14
- Adolphe Adam (1803 - 1856):
- 10O Holy Night03:01
- 11Coventry Carol / O Come, O Come, Emmanuel04:12
- Mike Batt (b. 1949), Tim Rice (b. 1944):
- 12A Winter's Tale03:41
- John Henry Hopkins, Jr. (1820 - 1891):
- 13We Three Kings04:09
- Cecil Sharp (1820 - 1891), Richard Storrs Willis (1819 - 1900):
- 14Sussex Carol / It Came Upon A Midnight Clear03:35
Info for Christmas Portraits
Keyboard legend, Rick Wakeman, famous the world over for his hugely successful and high-profile rock career - most notably with leading bands Yes and The Strawbs and for his sought-after collaborations with top artists of the day such as David Bowie and Black Sabbath - is pleased to celebrate the festive season with a brand-new album, ‘Christmas Portraits’, released on 29th November by Sony Classical.
With all tracks personally chosen and arranged by Wakeman himself, this special holiday album celebrates Wakeman’s favourite time of the year as he performs familiar and favourite festive music, arranged for solo piano, all performed on his beloved Granary Steinway Model D grand piano.
A former student and Fellow of the Royal College of Music, Wakeman has covered much musical ground during his wide-ranging career and here with ‘Christmas Portraits’, he brings his classic Wakeman twist to traditional Christmas classics, arranging some evergreens into fresh new medleys.
Of this brand-new album, Rick Wakeman commented: “Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year. I love every aspect of it, especially traditional Christmas music and songs which have wonderful simplistic melodies that are perfect for adaptation to produce variations on the piano. That is something I love to do and that is exactly what this album is”.
Rick Wakeman, piano
Born in Perivale, Middlesex, England, Rick Wakeman's interest in music manifested itself very early, and from the age of seven on he studied classical piano. At the age of 14, he joined a local band, Atlantic Blues, the same year he left school to enroll in the Royal College of Music. He had his eye on a career as a concert pianist, but Wakeman was dismissed from the college after it became clear that he preferred playing in clubs to studying technique.
By his late teens, he was an established session man, playing on records by such diverse acts as Black Sabbath, Brotherhood of Man, and Edison Lighthouse. At the end of the '60s, his name also began appearing on the credits of albums by such artists as Al Stewart and David Bowie, and one set of sessions with a folk-rock band called the Strawbs led to his joining the group in 1970. After two albums with the Strawbs, Wakeman joined Yes, a post-psychedelic hard rock band that had attracted considerable attention with their first three albums. Wakeman played a key role in the final shape of the group's fourth record, Fragile, creating a fierce, swirling sound on an array of electric and acoustic pianos, synthesizers, and Mellotrons. Fragile was a hit, driven by the chart success of the single "Roundabout," and Wakeman was suddenly elevated to star status.