Friday, December 07, 2018

The Sound of Christmas--The Melachrino Strings (Vocalion VL 73809)

My scanner is excellent, except for one glitch: it doesn't always get the colors correct.  In this case, the LP jacket is aqua, but, as you can see, it turned out pure blue.  Otherwise, it's a good scan.

I can't find that this came out on CD, so I'm putting it up.  It's a lovely collection, and despite the "enhanced for stereo" business, the sound is quite acceptable.  The arrangements are overdone, but this is a Christmas LP, so that's not only okay, it's sort of required.  Highly creative tracks, and I don't know if George (Melachrino) did his own scoring or not.  Whoever it was, he or she was quite gifted.  Despite the over-arranged aspects.

And it's wonderful to have The Angel on the Christmas Tree, a delightful number that appears to have been pretty big in the UK, but not hereabouts.  At the moment, I'm getting used to my new pen mouse--came in the mail today.  It's quite a change from a regular mouse, but I'm hoping it will give my wrists a break.  I'm already getting better at using keyboard commands to move things along, and maybe there are keyboard commands for cutting and pasting, since it's a nightmare doing it with this thing.

The box doesn't say, but I'm assuming this is made in China.  "Pen mouse (Fairy) Series," it says.  Fairy series??  Maybe "fairy" means "magic," as in the old term, fairy stories or fairy tales.  Another gem from the box: "The Spider takes styling cue from modern European Sports Design for maximum style."  Hm.  They don't say.  So, it's the Spider, from the Fairy series.  Okay.

I should take a pic of it.  This is it:

And, while I'm getting used to my Fairy Series Spider, it's time to give the Melachrino Strings a spin:

Click here to hear: Melachrino Strings--The Sound of Christmas

Winter Wonderland
The First Noel
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Silent Night
Sleigh Ride
Jingle Bells
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
The Angel on the Christmas Tree
Skaters' Waltz
Adeste Fideles

The Sound of Christmas--The Melachrino Strings (Vocalion VL 73809)



Buster said...

When I was reading your post I managed to skip the paragraph explaining the acquisition of your new pen mouse (never saw one of those). I was confused when I read the Melachrino LP was made in China and was part of the fairy series. At that point I decided to backtrack.

Anyhow, thanks! This looks good.

Ernie said...

Cut is -x
Paste is -v
Copy is -c

Use it all the time. :)

Thanks for the this, pretty sure it's just a budget reissue of his first Christmas album, minus a few tracks. Great stuff!

Lee Hartsfeld said...


I have reading mishaps like that petty routinely!


Which first LP? I associate him with RCA in the U.S., but this had to be Decca material, since the label during this period was reissuing Decca and Coral material, far as I know. Both sides now gives a 1967 release year for this. Can't find a Decca Christmas LP by George. I've tried Googling "Angel on the Christmas Tree," but only this LP comes up.

Thanks for the keyboard tip! Right-clicking on this pen is tricky.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Re Decca and Coral material, I meant the Vocalion label.

Ernie said...

Blogger seems to have removed what it thought was markup...

ctrl-X is cut
Ctrl-C is Copy
ctrl-V is paste

This is the first Melachrino Christmas LP, issued in the US on RCA a couple of different times with different covers. Probably came out on a different label in the UK though. Christmas In High Fidelity.

His later, Stereo one, Christmas Joy, featured Fairy On The Christmas Tree, perhaps that's what you're thinking of.

Oh, I see, they've named it different on this Vocalion release. Odd.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Are you sure they're the same tracks? Have you done a comparison by ear? I only say this because I can't imagine Vocalion putting out RCA material. Melachrino recorded for HMV, and I would assume the U.S. RCA tracks are HMV material....

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Oh, I just used the commands--tehy work like a charm. Thanks! If only I could stop inverting letters ("tehy").

Lee Hartsfeld said...

I just compared "Angel" with the 1959 "Fairy," and they're different performances. Same arrangement, but with a few differences. The Vocalion is sound earlier, too.

David Federman said...

I just compared your "Winter Wonderland" with the one found on "Christmas Joy." Although I am a mono partisan, the "living stereo" is glorious and really an improvement in terms of sound stage and nuance. There have been several reissues of the 1959 RCA album on CD, the latest, I think, by Real Gone Music. However, you may be right. The RCAs sound like re-makes. But, whatever, this Melachrino album is a true Christmas classic. Thank you for bringing it back to my attention.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Sure! It's great stuff. And I'm going nuts trying to figure out its origin. Ernie sent me a link to M.'s RCA Christmas LP, so I'll see what my ears say. (Ears say?)

Buster said...

I suppose it's possible that the RCA and Vocalion are the same masters, but it would be unusual. At that time, RCA was pulling English material from HMV, I believe. Vocalion would likely be reissues from English Decca masters. When the RCA LP came out, English Decca generally branded its US product as London.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

And I've been looking for M. on British Decca, but so far no luck. I agree with--it almost can't be reissues of HMV material.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Well, here's one Decca Melachrino:

Ernie said...

I didn't mean to stir up a ruckus... :)

Lee Hartsfeld said...

It's all your fault!

Brad R-M said...

I had lots of wrist issues a few years back. I looked at those pens but went with a vertical mouse from Evoluent. They're way more expensive than the mouse pens, but I LOVE the thing. Check it out:

Lee Hartsfeld said...

That does look way better than the pen, which turned out to be worse than a regular mouse....

Kwork said...

Thank you!