Kyle Pederson | 12.25

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Holiday: Spiritual Spiritual: Hymns Moods: Featuring Piano
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by Kyle Pederson

Stirring piano solos of classic Christmas carols. Unique arrangements that introduce the listener to new ways of experiencing favorite Christmas melodies.
Genre: Holiday: Spiritual
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. O Come O Come Emmanuel
4:30 $0.99
2. Silent Night
3:17 $0.99
3. O Come All Ye Faithful
5:50 $0.99
4. In the Bleak Midwinter
3:29 $0.99
5. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
4:35 $0.99
6. Infant Holy
3:24 $0.99
7. Do You Hear What I Hear
4:07 $0.99
8. Gabriel's Message
6:08 $0.99
9. O Holy Night
3:22 $0.99
10. Lo How a Rose
4:10 $0.99
11. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
4:43 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.



to write a review

Raj Manoharan (

The RajMan Review
The title says it all. Those two numbers are the crux of Christmas and the crux of pianist Kyle Pederson’s new holiday offering, which is as simple in its focus as the CD’s name.

Pederson presents his take on eleven seasonal tunes, many of them famous and some not so. Yet all are warm and welcoming as performed by Pederson, who plays the songs without accompaniment, and to great effect.

The artist masterfully accompanies himself with a virtuosic technique in which he plays melodies and chords with such ambidextrous deftness that it sounds like two or three pianists are playing at the same time. Because of this, the songs never fail to enrapture and captivate.

Another great aspect of the album is that while the songs are all recognizable as yuletide classics, Pederson injects enough creativity and uniqueness into his arrangements that they sound like original compositions.

As a result of this fresh approach that breathes new life into these classics while still retaining their familiarity, Kyle Pederson’s musical gift can be enjoyed not only on 12.25, but all year long.

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"12.25" is pianist/arranger Kyle Pederson’s second collection of original interpretations of classic hymns - this time of the Christmas variety. With the goal of presenting the eleven piano solos in ways that people have never heard before, Pederson has created an album that stands out from the crowd of new Christmas music released this year. Pederson admits that some of his arrangements might be considered “avant garde” by those who want to hear Christmas music in a more traditional setting, but I always enjoy fresh interpretations of seasonal carols and songs and welcome the opportunity to experience timeless favorites in a new way. Not that these arrangements are radically different - the carols are recognizable, but don’t expect to use this album for a sing-along. Pederson has added many new passages and phrases, changed rhythms and chord progressions in places, and has generally made these songs his own. Improvisation is kept to a minimum - these arrangements were worked out in advance and practiced thoroughly - but the freshness of spontaneous musical discovery is present in each piece.

"12.25" begins with “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” an ancient Christmas carol that often conveys a feeling of tragedy. Pederson’s arrangement has the melody at the beginning and the end, with an energetic middle section of cascading chords. One of the verses has these fast-paced notes behind the traditional melody - an interesting contrast of styles! The final section is again dark and somber. I really like Pederson’s “Silent Night.” The melody is mostly intact, but the timing and phrasing are quite different from the usual versions. The mood is hushed and peaceful, but Pederson has managed to make this song sound very contemporary. “In the Bleak Midwinter” isn’t quite as well-known as some of the other songs, but it has become very popular with instrumentalists over the past several years. The lovely melody is given a graceful setting that is not all that bleak - warm and inviting is more accurate. “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” has phrases of “Carol of the Bells” interwoven into its melody - an effective pairing. Each verse becomes a little bigger and more intense, so it’s on fire by the time we reach the end! “Do You Hear What I Hear” is a gentle delight with bits of “Away in a Manger” floating in and out. “Lo How A Rose” is a very different interpretation of this old German tune. Dark and somewhat somber, the melody is woven into Pederson’s own music, bringing it into the 21st century. “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” incorporates some improvisation, giving this old favorite a moderate jazz feeling that works well and brings our musical excursion to an end.

"12.25" is recommended to those who like Christmas music with a fresh new interpretation and unexpected changes. Check it out!

Notes & Chords

Kyle Pederson - 12.25
In time for the holidays this year there is a new seasonal CD, 12.25 by pianist Kyle Pederson, that is not your average Christmas music album for several reasons. Primarily Pederson has written completely new arrangements of some traditional material so that often the well-known melody is only a small part of the freshly-constructed tune. As the melody drifts through, it reminds us of past holidays, but at the same time, the new music surrounding it gives us a different musical perspective.

In addition to plenty of Christmas classics -- from DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR to GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN -- there are two selections that have less well-known melodies and more of a general winter theme (IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER and LO HOW A ROSE).

This is refreshingly-different seasonal music. There are plenty of Christmas albums out there, and even lots of solo piano holiday ones, but Pederson’s arrangements are so different that this album definitely stands out from the crowd and does not sound like what we have come to expect from traditional Christmas music.


Un estilo muy peculiar, algo que hacia mucho tiempo que se escuchaba!
Kyle Pederson es un músico y destacadísimo pianista de Jazz, componente del grupo Shoop!, artista que combina su pasión por el Jazz con la composición y la grabación en solitario. 12.25 es el segundo álbum de Kyle, un CD para solo piano centrado en conocidos villancicos que son adaptados con maestría y técnicamente rozando la perfección. "Renewal" fue su primer álbum, donde Pederson se dedicaba en exclusiva a los himnos eclesiásticos y con un estilo muy similar a Brickman o Lorie Line. En este último trabajo, Kyle combina dos estilos que personalmente me apasionan, la originalidad y la técnica, algo que marca la diferencia en un álbum y logra estremecer al oyente.
La sorpresa es mayúscula cuando aparece "O Come O Come Emmanuel" para abrir el CD, una pieza que guarda sorpresas. La introducción es invariable, sobradamente conocida hasta que Pederson va variando ligeramente la música, consiguiendo una adaptación rápida y magistral. Los dedos de Kyle vuelan por el piano de forma emocionante, convirtiendo a "O Come O Come Emmanuel" en una de las mejores del álbum.

Los acordes que suenan para introducir a "Silent Night" son el encanto de esta versión de Pederson. Intercalando estos acordes en formato de sutil Jazz, el artista ofrece un estilo nuevo al villancico, pero eso sí, sin restar emotividad a su melodía original.

"O Come All Ye Faithfull" es posiblemente la pieza menos renovada del álbum, a excepción de algunas notas que son alternadas entre nuevos acordes. Kyle deja la improvisación para el cenit, durante minutos y justo antes de la conclusión del tema, el pianista realiza algunas maravillas al piano.

Una cordial melodía nos introduce en "In The Bleak Midwinter". Apasionada y sentida a más no poder, Pederson va adaptando la música con un toque afable y cálido. "In The Bleak Midwinter" es un cambio hermoso después de escuchar los anteriores tracks. Me gusta.

Y surge la mejor pieza de este trabajo, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". Con un toque muy parecido a Winston, Kyle da vida a una de las adaptaciones más bellas que se han creado para este villancico, un villancico que toma forma gracias a espléndidos acordes que sobrepasan lo imposible. Escuchar esta pieza es sencillamente un regalo para los sentidos. Sin palabras...

Otra de las piezas amables y cálidas de 12.25 es "Infant Holy". Un tema que comienza con suavidad y dulces notas para tornarse jubilosa y llena de arrojo. El final es lo mejor de "Infant Holy", la música concluye con los mismos acordes que la presentaron, pero repitiéndose y alejándose en la distancia. Un final diferente, un final ideal.

"Do You Hear What I Hear" es otro tema a destacar en el álbum, no por su técnica ni por su melodía alegre, en este caso por lo original en la adaptación que Pederson hace de este. Dejando pocos espacios en blancos, el pianista ofrece un carácter nuevo a la popular melodía, un carácter muy entrañable y lleno de afecto.

Aunque en destreza esta es una de las piezas interesantes de 12.25, "Gabriel's Message" posee una música que hasta el tercer minuto no dice nada al oyente, siendo a partir de ese momento cuando Kyle se deja el alma en dar vida a la pieza.

"O Holy Night" se distingue perfectamente. Pederson ha variado la manera de tocar los acordes, la rapidez y la fuerza, añadiendo coraje y mimo en el momento justo; dos extremos que casan perfectamente en esta bella adaptación.

Otra de mis preferidas es "Lo How a Rose". De melodía rápida, es sumamente interesante el juego de manos que realiza el pianista para que surjan las notas que componen el villancico. Nuevamente rozando el jazz, nuevamente rozando los sentidos con diversas tonalidades que penetran con fuerza en nuestro interior.

Íntima y emocionante es la versión que cierra el álbum, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear". Dejando a un lado por unos instantes la melodía original, Kyle improvisa unos minutos técnicamente extraordinarios, lo que hará que el oyente olvide por unos segundos qué villancico está escuchando y se centre en la nueva melodía. Asombroso!.

12.25 tiene un estilo muy peculiar, algo que hacia mucho tiempo que no escuchaba y disfrutaba. Desde "December" de George Winston, no sentía esas notas poderosas y esos acordes imposibles sonando vertiginosos en el piano, Kyle ha conseguido que reviva esos momentos pero con un carácter propio. Kyle Pederson se sirve de sus habilidades en el jazz para "romper" las melodías de los más famosos villancicos, haciendo de estos que su escucha sea una sorpresa continua y una verdadera maravilla. De lo mejor que he escuchado en mucho tiempo, sin duda, uno de los mejores CDs dedicados a la Navidad de este año!. 12.25 es un CD muy altamente recomendable. Indispensable!!!.