Janice Faber | Simple Gifts

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Holiday: New Age Holiday: Easy Listening Moods: Featuring Piano
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Simple Gifts

by Janice Faber

Quiet, relaxing Christmas carols on piano
Genre: Holiday: New Age
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. O Christmas Tree / Ode to Joy
4:47 $0.99
2. Little Drummer Boy
5:04 $0.99
3. Christmas Stars
3:44 $0.99
4. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
5:27 $0.99
5. Good King Wenceslas / Simple Gifts
3:39 $0.99
6. O Come All Ye Faithful
5:46 $0.99
7. Do You Hear What I Hear?
3:54 $0.99
8. Christmas Joy
4:28 $0.99
9. In the Bleak Midwinter / Still, Still, Still
5:07 $0.99
10. O Holy Night
5:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.



to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Simple Gifts" is Janice Faber’s second collection of solo piano Christmas carols, following her 2012 release, "Peace, Joy, Noel." The ten tracks include traditional as well as contemporary Christmas songs, but all are of a spiritual nature - no Santa or Rudolf. Faber became a church pianist at the age of ten, so I’m sure that a lot of this music is second nature to her, but she imbues all of the songs with a freshness and grace that make them new and very special. Her playing and arranging style is flowing and not overly-embellished. Faber brings out the beauty of the melodies by keeping them fairly simple, direct, and by playing them with heartfelt emotion and expression. This is music for the quieter, more peaceful times of the Christmas season - or an antidote to the hectic pace of the holidays and a reminder of what it is that we’re supposed to be celebrating.

"Simple Gifts" begins with a medley of “O Christmas Tree” and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” Peaceful and serene, it’s a lovely way to start! “The Little Drummer Boy” is one of the newer carols and expresses the innocence and love of the child who who wanted to play his best for the baby Jesus. I was not familiar with “Christmas Stars,” but what a gorgeous piece! Slow, somewhat bittersweet, and full of longing, it’s my favorite piece on the album. I also really like the medley of “Good King Wenceslas” and “Simple Gifts,” a combination that I would not have thought of, but that works beautifully. Both songs are given a light, spirited treatment, expressing joy and anticipation. “O Come All Faithful” also has a light touch, but it’s the interlude in the middle that makes this arrangement so beautiful and compelling. I often think of this carol as being kind of a command to come and worship, but Faber’s arrangement is much more of a warm and friendly invitation. “Christmas Joy” is also a new carol for me. Bright and joyful, it sounds like the ringing of church bells in celebration of the good news of Christmas. The medley of “In the Bleak Midwinter” and “Still, Still, Still” is SO peaceful and makes me think of the quiet wonder of falling snow. Bleak? Not even a little bit! I love this arrangement! The album closes with an equally peaceful “O Holy Night.” I think there are some keyboard washes in the background that add some atmospheric effects - they are very subtle, but really nice.

The warmth and grace of Janice Faber’s piano touch will make "Simple Gifts" a wonderful addition to your collection of Christmas music! Very highly recommended!