In the whimsically titled The Knights Before Christmas the resourceful group The Knights gathered together with several collaborators to bring us well before the Christmas musical onslaught a handful of arrangements of folk, pop, and traditional tunes appropriate to the holiday season but immensely enjoyable even if the temperature outside pushes 80 degrees at midday in mi-September.
The joyful musical tidings included in the Bright Shiny Things album range from inventive settings of the familiar Do You Hear What I Hear, O Holy Night, Little Drummer Boy, and Coventry Carol – all four by Christina Courtin- to Spanish language solo turns with Gaby Moreno and Magos Herrera, to instrumental arrangements by Michael P. Atkinson and Colin Jacobsen.
The collaborating soloists include pipa player Wu Man, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, and violinist Colin Jacobsen playing fiddle in the rhythmic Haneros Haluli.
The music-making throughout this CD is honest, unmannered, straightforward and disarmingly charming.
Rafael de Acha ALL ABOUT THE ARTS
Published by ALL ABOUT THE ARTS
Rafael de Acha has enjoyed a distinguished career in the arts as a performer, stage director, producer, and educator. He was born and grew up in Cuba. At the age of 17 he moved to the United States to study Drama at the University of Minnesota, and later Languages at L.A. City College, Music at the Juilliard School of Music, at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, and at the New England Conservatory of Music, from which he received the Master's degree. He has taught courses on the History of Music at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and at Florida International University, and contributed writings and reviews to Seen and Heard International (www.seenandheard-international.com ) and to this blog. He co-founded the award-winning New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida, where he produced and staged twenty seasons of classical and contemporary theater, including fifty world premieres of plays that went on to have international and national productions on and off Broadway, including Ana in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz (Pulitzer Prize for Drama 2002 and Tony Nomination 2003.) In 2006 he was presented with a citation from The Dade County Cultural Affairs Council for “trailblazing contributions to the arts in South Florida.”
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