An Appalachian Christmas
Mark O'Connor's "An Appalachian Christmas" made the top
15 on Billboard's Classical Album Chart Crossover Chart
and Bluegrass Album
O'Connor's new album 'An Appalachian Christmas' features collaborations with James Taylor, Alison Krauss, Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Renee Fleming, Jane Monheit and more.
"An Appalachian Christmas" Official Album Website
Mark O’Connor’s “An Appalachian Christmas” has been chosen by the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times as the top album of the season. The Boston Globe chose it as the 4th best holiday album, and the New York Post puts “An Appalachian Christmas” in the top 10 for the Christmas Season!
"Classical violinist and folk fiddler Mark O'Connor was born in Seattle but his heart is in the hills and hollows of Appalachia. On this largely self-produced CD...the album's best moments are the earthy "Cherry Tree Carol" and Mr. O'Connor's own "Appalachia Waltz." On "Sleigh Ride," he overdubs all 10 instruments." -Wall Street Journal
"Mark O'Connor, “An Appalachian Christmas” (OMAC). The esteemed fiddler and composer brings his inclusive merging of folk, country, jazz and classical music to this warmly elegant session. Guest singers James Taylor, Alison Krauss, Renee Fleming, Jane Monheit and Steve Wariner join on seven of the 16 tracks. A model of intelligence, heart and soul." -Los Angeles Times
"ALL CHRISTMAS MUSIC SHOULD BE PLAYED SO ELEGANTLY ON VIOLIN" -BOSTON GLOBE
MARK O’CONNOR: ‘AN APPALACHIAN CHRISTMAS’ "This album gathers recordings of Christmas songs made since the 1980s by the violinist Mark O’Connor...as string-band leader, orchestral arranger and overdubbed one-man studio band. His violin is always elegant...quietly glowing lullaby."
-The New York Times
Mark O'Connor's "An Appalachian Christmas" - "Fleming's duet with O'Connor on "Amazing Grace" pairs two glorious instruments, and when she soars for an A-flat above high C to start the last line, it's an unexpected present. Alison Krauss' angelic soprano enriches Stephen Foster's "Slumber My Darling," and she's backed by the string trio of O'Connor, Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer in a heavenly performance...O'Connor does some serious sawing on a Mannheim Steamroller-style rendition of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."
With all the hustle and bustle associated with this time of year, it’s a real joy to find something so simple and pure as this holiday offering from Mark O’Connor.
O’Connor is a Grammy winning composer and violinist who revisits classic Christmas songs on this release. Recorded in an intimate setting, he gives
the impression that this is an off the cuff performance for friends and family; providing a relaxed and spirited performance that just happened to be recorded. Guest performers on this recording include James Taylor, Yo-Yo Ma, Allison Krause, Renee Fleming, Steve Wariner, Chris Thile, and Jane Monheit. These contributors make for a fresh new take on familiar songs, and provide a few new gems as well. The collection is playful and joyous but it
can also be solemn at times. “Carol of the Bells” is turned into a haunting string affair, and O’Connor adds smoky jazz coloring to the “The Christmas
Song” on which he teams up with Monheit. These tracks, along with the inclusion of some lesser known songs like “Cherry Tree Carol,” and “One Winter’s Night,” make this a different sort of holiday release. “Slumber My Darling” flows with gentle echoes and whispers between O’Connor and Krauss, and it is nothing short of breathtaking.
This is an outstanding Christmas offering from a virtuoso string player performing in a wide range of musical genres. If you make a point to only buy one new holiday CD a year, this one would be a wise and wonderful choice – for this year and for the years to come. -The Daily Local News (PA)
"And speaking of virtuoso string players, violinist Mark O'Connor's An Appalachian Christmas (OMAC Records) is an absolute delight, with both instrumental and vocal Christmas music. With guests that include the cream of the Nashville studio musician crop and singers Jane Monheit, James Taylor and Steve Wariner, O'Connor (who plays several instruments here, including drums) delivers a top-notch product, as usual."
"Violinist Mark O'Connor is a maestro of many genres... [he] and his fiddle are in top form throughout, whether delivering a vaguely Celtic reading of 'What Child Is This' or pulling off the nearly impossible feat of a non-annoying version of 'Carol of the Bells.'"
-MetroMix New York
"When fiddle maestro Mark O'Connor plays Christmas music, it's bound to be special. The 16 numbers on "An Appalachian Christmas" are definitely special. Without a doubt."
-Times Record News