A Winter's Solstice
Ira Stein & Russel Walder
Bill Oskay & Mícheál Ó Domhnaill
Darol Anger & Mike Marshall
Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring
New England Morning
High Plains (Christmas On The High-Line)
Bach Bourée (From The French Suite)
A Tale Of Two Cities
Album produced by
William Ackerman &
Tracks produced by the respective recording artists, exceptions & additionals noted below when applicable
Track 6 Produced By Steven Miller
Track 7 Produced by Oliver DiCicco
A Winter's Solstice (WH-1045)
The first holiday-themed album from the Windham Hill label, the 45th cataloged, featuring both original tracks as well as tracks lifted from albums previously recorded (Shadowfax's Petite Aubade originally featured on Watercourse Way and Marshall/Anger's Bach Bouree originally featured on Chiaroscuro). 7 of the 10 tracks listed are originals written by the artists, yet fit well with the darkening of the skies and the cooling of the weather. Interestingly, the only "Christmas Classic" on the album is Liz Story's Greensleeves. An original approach for an instrumental album competing on the shelves alongside albums such as Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas (among others). In a 2004 interview with Billboard, Ackerman recounts:
"The Winter Solstice compilations came about in large part because I hate Christmas music. At home, my father made Christmas about Gregorian chants. I loved that, so I never made the leap to "Jingle Bells." Winston's "December" opened the door for me. It's not a Christmas record, but it conveys the essence and mood of a season. I thought, let's do an album of Christmas music that isn't Christmas music. It was a tremendous success."
The record proved very popular, going Gold after two years on the shelves in December 1987.
Personally, A Winter's Solstice ranks my 3rd best album of the collection (though my top 5 are all great in my eyes).
This youtube video features David Qualey live, performing his opening track on the record, "Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring", an arrangement of the Bach classic.