02005-11-08 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Imagine a holiday album that’s more like a series of impressionistic paintings or stark watercolors from the hand of a gifted observer and artisan. Ottmar Liebert (who plays flamenco guitar but not usually in the purely flamenco style, plus other guitars) and his three musical associates deliver an understated kind of holiday record where less is more, an audio gift with fleeting sounds and unexpected flourishes that color and shade the familiar and new. Faure’s ‘Pavane,’ ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem,’ Tchaikovsky’s ‘Arabian Dance’ from the Nutcracker and other well known pieces get Liebert’s acute artistic treatment . For example, his ‘Bethlehem’ is also tagged with a side trip to the ‘City of Tijuana’ that is alluring and electric without losing sight of the original destination. His handful of originals such as ‘The Longest Night’ and ‘Winter Blue’ share a kind of trance-like affect and yet never lose their bearing. It’s a delicate and completely satisfying achievement that permeates Winter Rose and transcends the holidays. It can be played again and again for any occasion. Highly recommended. — Martin Keller


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