Celebrating a lifelong love for the music of the Christmas season, international superstar cellist HAUSER announces his first-ever holiday album, 'Christmas.' Available everywhere Friday, October 27, Christmas features 14 of the world's most beloved Christmas melodies newly arranged for orchestra and choir to showcase his inimitable cello artistry.
Echoing the musical magic of the holidays, Christmas captures the intimate warmth and friendly spirit of the yuletide, evoking the romance and the many pleasures of holidays past and present. Available for preorder now, the CD edition of Christmas will include a Christmas ornament and special video message from HAUSER as a bonus holiday gift.
Making its debut now alongside preorder is the album's lead single "Amazing Grace," accompanied by an epic new visual of the dynamic cellist performing at the prestigious French Pavilion in his homeland of Croatia.
"Instrumental music is something everyone, everywhere can understand equally. A big advantage of playing an instrument like the cello is that people everywhere can enjoy these songs in a totally new dimension," says HAUSER of the new album, adding, "People can enjoy it in the background, even if they're not focused on listening. It's perfect for opening presents, preparing dinner, decorating the tree, whatever. I wanted this album to be a pleasant listening experience, however you want to enjoy it."
On Christmas, HAUSER has selected 14 holiday perennials, including eight seasonal carols beloved all over the world, four popular Christmas hits from The Great American Songbook, and two of the cellist's favorite melodies of the spirit - the American hymn "Amazing Grace" and Mozart's sublime sacred aria "Laudate Dominum."
Christmas includes seasonal standards like "Silent Night," "Adeste Fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful)," "Angels We Have Heard on High," "The First Noël," "The Little Drummer Boy," "O Holy Night," "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "Carol of the Bells" (based on an old Ukrainian song). HAUSER was inspired by his enduring love for singers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley, selecting four iconic American holiday pop songs from the mid-20th century to round out the collection - "White Christmas," "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas."
Each selection is festively "gift-wrapped" in lush new arrangements that feature HAUSER's artistry with a full orchestra and chorus. "I wanted everything to sound like classical music," he said of the sumptuous orchestrations for Christmas. "Even those pop songs now sound so gorgeous in this instrumentation, with a huge orchestra. They really sound like classical masterpieces. I think people will be surprised to hear their favorite Christmas song in this romantic, 'Hollywood' style. I really wanted to recreate that."
"I wanted this to be the ultimate Christmas album," HAUSER concludes, with the idea that the 14 selected songs and carols reflect every holiday mood, from "a fun Christmas and, I hope, a holy Christmas."
Growing up in Croatia, HAUSER remembers music at Christmas "as the most magical part of the year as a child." It was also a family tradition, from his mother leading the choir at their local church to carols sung every year by his family at home. Musically, the budding cellist was a part of that, from an early age, in a culture where Christmas music was especially popular.
"I always had the cello in my hands," he recalls. "At times like Christmas, I would play around with it - that's how I improved my improvisation skills because, since I was a little boy, I was not just a nerd who practiced scales, sonatas and concertos. This was the beginning of my diversity as a musician."
HAUSER - CHRISTMAS TRACKLISTING
- The First Noël
- White Christmas
- Carol of the Bells
- O Little Town of Bethlehem
- O Holy Night
- Silent Night
- Angels We Have Heard on High
- The Christmas Song
- I'll Be Home for Christmas
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
- The Little Drummer Boy
- Adeste Fideles
- Laudate Dominum
- Amazing Grace