Christmas Present – Liner Notes

Photo by: Paul Greco

Photo by: Paul Greco

Amici Cantanti’s latest album, Christmas Present is now available on iTunes and CD Baby.

This stylish conglomeration of melody, harmony, and rhythm is inspired by reflections on the late year…Christmastime.

The source of our winding musical stream is in England. It wanders through Wonderland and Neverland and finally reaches its full measure in Vienna. One may hear flowing through its tributaries the sounds of Irving Berlin, John Jacob Niles, and Mel Tormé, and music of Debussy, Holst, and Richard Strauss is often heard just around the bend. The performances were recorded live in Schultz Chapel at Concordia College, Bronxville, New York. The order of the compositions and/or their parts was devised entirely by AMICI CANTANTI.

Our wish is that you, the listener, may enjoy hearing this spirited music gleaned from Christmases Past, which has, we hope, been fashioned into a CHRISTMAS PRESENT.



Bells and Carols: I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day – words by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, music by John Marks, arranged by Roy Ringwald; Angels We Have Heard On High – French Carol; Jesu Joy Of Man’s Desiring by J.S. Bach, arranged by Gary Norden; Christmas Day – by Gustav Holst; Do You Hear What I Hear – words and music by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne, arranged by Harry Simeone.

Still, Still, Still – Austrian Carol; lyrics by Marilyn Keith and Alan Bergman, arranged by Norman Luboff

Carol From An Irish Cabin – Unknown Author, arranged by Dale Wood

The Star: Tu scendi dalle stelle – words and music by Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori,  arranged by Gary Norden; I Wonder As I Wander – melody and words by Jacob Niles,  arranged  by John Rutter; Morgen by Richard Strauss; When You Wish Upon A Star – words by Ned Washington, music by Leigh Harline, arranged by Pete King

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – words by Sammy Cahn, music by Jule Styne, arranged by Kirby Shaw

The Christmas Song – by Mel Torme, Robert Wells, edited and arranged by Walter Ehret

Jingle Bells – Old folk tune, arranged by Ray Charles

Winter Wonderland – words by Dick Smith, music by Felix Bernard, arranged by Leo Arnaud and Charles Naylor; Clair De Lune by Claude Debussy

Love: You’re All I Want For Christmas – words and music by Glen Moore and Seger Ellis; Merry Christmas, Darling – words and music by Richard Carpenter and Frank Pooler, arranged by Kirby Shaw; I’ll Be Home For Christmas – words by Kim Gannon, music by Walter Kent, arranged by Steve Zegree

Prayers: Night Of Silence – words and music by Daniel Kantor; Evening Prayer from Hansel and Gretel – by Engelbert Humperdinck; Silent Night, Holy Night – by Franz Gruber, words by Joseph Mohr, arranged by Mark Hayes; O Holy Night – by Adolphe Adam, setting by Todd J. Barber; The Lord’s Prayer – by Albert Hay Malotte, arranged  by Carl Deis

Celebration: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – words and music by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane; White Christmas – words and music by Irving Berlin, arranged by Gary Norden; Let’s Have An Old Fashioned Christmas – words and music by Charles Pellegrini, Jr. and Jerry Sernau, arranged by Gary Norden; I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day – words by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, music by John Marks, arranged by Roy Ringwald; Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss

Accolades for “In Between”

Amici Cantanti’s album, In Between, is available on iTunes and CDBaby.


-Photo by Paul Greco

Read the EVOR Review HERE

“I enjoyed it tremendously!”
-John Wustman, Pianist for Pavarotti, Crespin, Schwarzkopf, Ludwig, Peters, Bergonzi, Fassbinder, etc.

“What a group! Gorgeous voices, wonderful selection of music in first-class arrangements, and what is especially appealing, they sing perfectly together.  It’s like hearing a fine string quartet with piano singing your favorite tunes.  I hope to hear them again.”
-Styra Avins, Cellist, The American Symphony Orchestra, New York City Opera Orchestra, and author of Johannes Brahms: Life and Letters

“Wonderful! I so enjoyed listening. . . brilliant.”
-Roger Malouf, Assistant Conductor, Metropolitan Opera

“The whole program was really beautiful…charming…just great! I think Alberta Masiello would have loved this.”
-Gloria Learner, Metropolitan Opera Studio

“My face was sore from smiling!”
-Kathryn Allyn, Mezzo Soprano, New York City Opera

“They sound like one voice. Beautiful tone, perfect diction, and the piano sounds like an orchestra.”
-Sharla Nafziger, Soprano, New York City Opera

“Finally, melody set up with rich chord progressions has come back in style. This recording will make your heart sing!”
-Judy Cope, Executive Director of The Sorel Organzation

“The always solid, often intriguing and versatile arrangements laid a bountiful foundation to build beautiful vocal mixes around. I thoroughly enjoyed being swept away by the passion and performance of this really talented group.”
-Leonarda Priore – co founder and co producer, 
Chelsea Opera

“Amici Cantanti Vocal Ensemble is truly a friend of music at Mohonk Mountain House evoking outstanding enthusiastic responses from our guests.”
-Patricia Smiley Guralnik, Director, Festival of the Arts, Mohonk Mountain House

“AMICI CANTANTI   is a wonderful group that offers a scintillating mix of styles from old standards to new songs, with the occasional surprising reference to classical music. They’re at home in every genre and had me swinging and swaying along the whole way through.  I love them.”
-Bruce Ostler, president and owner, Bret Adams Agency, NYC

“…and what a piano player!  His ability to emerge and recede is a bit like wizardry.”
-Lydia Weaver, senior production editor, Harper Collins Publishers