CD Spotlight: A Star in the East by Ronn McFarlane and Carolyn Surrick
Christmas surrounds us, with lights on the lawns and carols everywhere we go. But perhaps you are burned out by all those big choral and orchestral works. How about something quieter, a bit more contemplative? Our CD Spotlight offers just that with a brand-new all-instrumental release, A Star in the East, by lutenist Ronn McFarlane and viola da gambist Carolyn Surrick. McFarlane and Surrick, with a bit of help from friends, offer a CD filled with familiar carols and surprising (and delightful) mashups. It’s a Christmas CD that will fill your hearts without overwhelming your senses.
If you’re looking for something a bit off the beaten path and more eclectic, give The Knights Before Christmas a spin. The Knights have put together a crazy quilt of traditional carols and holiday pop songs, from Holst’s “In the Bleak Midwinter” to “Another Lonely Christmas” by Prince. There’s The Knights, of course, with striking arrangements, including Wu Han with her pipa and a Spanish version of Adam’s “O Holy Night.” And like A Star in the East, it will wash over you with a calm beauty that befits the season.