Fiona Mackenzie,
Duan Nollaig
(Greentrax, 2007)

Here we have an instant Christmas from the beautiful songstress, Fiona Mackenzie.

Being a Gaelic Christmas album, the tracks are in Gaelic. You will recognize all the old favourites and they sound unusually fresh when heard in a different tongue.

The entire first CD is made up of carols and songs. Many are familiar if only in the airs, while she adds a few new items to the mix. Here you will find the familiar sounds of Christmas like "Silent" Night" alongside the less common Manx carol "Paiste am Bethlehem."

The second disc is aimed more at the younger generation with songs more familiar to them like "Twelve Days of Christmas" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." "Leanabh an Aigh" combines the more familiar strains of "Morning Has Broken" with "The Blessed Infant."

There is a wonderful rendition of "Silent Night" with its haunting opening an a cappella verse, but one of the more unusual Christmas offerings is "Alleluia." This is unusual because it is a translation of Leonard Cohen's "Halleluiah." I bet you never expected that on a Christmas CD.

Mackenzie has a beautiful sweet voice ideally suited to such a collection, and I bet if you purchase this and play it, your Christmas repertoire will be enhanced this year.

review by
Nicky Rossiter

8 December 2007

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