She begins the album with “What Child Is This?” This is a beautiful song, though I prefer the original “Greensleeves.” She follows that with “Christmas Canon,” one that’s not all that familiar to me, a song by Trans-Siberian Orchestra from their The Christmas Attic album. I prefer the instrumental sections, which have a pretty innocence, and are basically “Pachelbel's Canon.” So, interestingly, she begins the album with two Christmas songs that are based on earlier pieces. For “Christmas Canon,” Erin Hill has recorded several vocal parts, accompanying herself, and the results are beautiful.
“My Favorite Things” is not really a Christmas tune, but I suppose it’s related to the holiday in as much as it lists things she likes, which could be read as a Christmas wish list. Plus, the list includes “sleigh bells,” “snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes” and “silver-white winters,” which are all part of the holiday. I’m not a fan of this song, and I’ve never been able to make it through The Sound Of Music, but I do like the instrumental sections of this rendition. She follows that with an absolutely beautiful instrumental version of “Carol Of The Bells,” one of my favorite tracks of this CD. And then she delivers a stunningly gorgeous version of “Ave Maria.” This is an incredible performance, and in my opinion is the best track of the disc. If this doesn’t move you, something has gone horribly wrong.
I’ve always loved Bach’s “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring,” and Erin Hill does a wonderful job with it here. She also delivers a very pretty rendition of “Silent Night.” Here too she harmonizes with herself, and the results help make this track another of this CD’s highlights.
Debussy’s “The Girl With The Flaxen Hair” isn’t a Christmas song, but it’s a pretty piece, especially as Erin Hill presents it. She then concludes Christmas Harp with “Pie Jesu,” which translates roughly as “Jesus’ Foot” (just kidding, of course). On this composition, Erin delivers another impressive and moving vocal performance.
CD Track List
- What Child Is This?
- Christmas Canon
- My Favorite Things
- Carol Of The Bells
- Ave Maria
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel
- Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
- Silent Night
- White Christmas
- The Girl With The Flaxen Hair
- Pie Jesu
Christmas Harp was released on October 28, 2016 through Goldenlane Records, a division of Cleopatra Records.