On A Winter's Night - A Seasonal Collection from Imaginary Road 

(Imaginary Road / Polygram 314 536 143-2) - 1997

1997 marked a divergence in the Winter's Solstice series. Longtime producer and runner of the Winter Solstice releases Dawn Atkinson left Windham Hill to co-found Imaginary Road, a record company started with Will Ackerman in the wake of his sale of Windham Hill in late 1992. Will sought to go back to Windham Hill's roots and start a label that was focused on the recording quality and the artist, the vision he had in the early days of Windham Hill. Dawn joined him in 1997 and in doing so, left Windham Hill and the Winter Solstice series.

 

Upon taking full control of Windham Hill in 1996, BMG upped the Winter Solstice turnout and brought in various producers from its other subsidiaries (notably Private Music). Brian Keane was brought in to create "A Winter's Solstice VI" in 1997, the first Winter Solstice album not to be produced by Ms. Atkinson. Meantime, this album, what some fans call the true "Winter's Solstice VI" was created on a new record label led by the original two producers who created the first Winter's Solstice albums on Windham Hill. 

Although On A Winter's Night is not an "official" Windham Hill release, it certainly deserves a catalog entry in this collection. This album contains some of the most original and creative entries into the "Winter's" collection. Additionally, most of the artists should look familiar: half of the total tracks feature commonly-seen Winter Solstice albums from the Atkinson days. Tim Story's The Earth Lay White feels like a continuance of his classic "Asleep The Snow Came Flying" from A Winter's Solstice IV, and the last track is a new interpretation of a Gregorian Chant: Christe Redemptor Omnium. Will mentioned in an interview that he used to listen to Gregorian Chants as a kid, and he appreciated them more than any of the more "popular" Christmas Tracks one would hear on the radio. I agree.

In 2001 Dawn Atkinson rejoined the BMG team and continued producing excellent, quality Winter-related songs for Windham Hill. But one sometimes wonders what continued quality and artistic integrity Imaginary Road could have produced had Polygram not closed the label. This album seemed to me to be a incredible start to a new line of Winter-related albums. Regardless, this album remains a classic to any Windham Hill Winter Solstice collector, an "artistic" or "creative" continuance of the original Winter Solstice series. Even if it's not officially part of the Windham Hill family, artistically, it's as close as one can get during the 97-99 years.

Tim Story's The Earth Lay White, and Christe Redemptor Omnium by Paul McLean and The Schola Cantorum Of St. Peter's In The Loop, Chicago.

On A Winter's Night - A Seasonal Collection from Imaginary Road
Album produced by
Will Ackerman & Dawn Atkinson

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Coventry Carol

Article Of Faith

The Earth Lay White

A Winter's Night

The Nightengale

Masters In This Hall / Maria Walks Among The Thorns

In Children's Eyes

O Christmas Tree

Icicles

A Winter's Tale

Yagaba

Solstice

Home

Office Hymn: Christe Redemptor Omnium

Barbara Higbie

Fred Simon

Tim Story

Steve Erquiaga

Deborah Henson-Conat

Paul McCandless

Richard Schönherz

David Cullen & Jill Haley

Charlie Bisharat

ValGardena

Samite

Rob Eberhard Young

Secret Garden

The Schola Cantorum of St. Peter's In The Loop

3:22

3:37

4:36

4:31

4:22

4:47

3:15

4:03

4:18

4:14

1:45

2:45

3:23

4:49

Tracks produced by the respective recording artists, exceptions & additionals noted below when applicable

This Album is currently out of print. But can be purchased used on Amazon.com

Music and Artwork © Their Respective Releases by Windham Hill Records, a Division of Legacy Recordings from Sony Music Entertainment. 

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