Jeffrey Biegel’s Christmas album (CD Review)

A Steinway Christmas Album: Music for the Season

Jeffrey Biegel, piano

Steinway & Sons

I’ll admit that this holiday season snuck up on me a bit. And while it’s taken me longer to get into the spirit than usual, I’m grateful to have had this CD at hand. It’s been an excellent aid to snapping out of the winter blues.

Pianist Jeffrey Biegel presentsĀ a classical crossover album of holiday chestnuts that is a cheering antidote to its all too ubiquitous nemeses: holiday schlock music. The latter’s execrations include forced gaiety and dubious associations with conspicuous consumption. Via prominent commercial placement, this mortal sin of Christmastime hasĀ even befallen many good holiday albums past. Instead, on A Steinway Christmas Album, the tunes are presented adorned only with a tasteful amount of music tinsel, in sparkling arrangements that are eminently adroit, showing off Biegel’s nimble dexterity without ever obscuring the underlying original pieces.

Even if you think you’re so sick of “Sleigh Ride” and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” to never want to hear them again, the classy music-making here may yet charm you into changing your mind. Besides, things always sound better on a 9′ Steinway Concert Grand, don’t they?

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