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Lisa Downing | Christmas for Two

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George Winston Liz Story Michele McLaughlin

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visionquestmusic.com lisadowning.com

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United States - Colorado

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Holiday: New Age New Age: Solo Instrumental Moods: Mood: Christmas
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Christmas for Two

by Lisa Downing

This collection of original arrangements for traditional holiday melodies are a mixture of contemplative and energizing pieces which will inspire the holiday spirit in anyone who listens.
Genre: Holiday: New Age
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Carol Of the Bells
3:24 $0.99
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2. O Holy Night/It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
4:01 $0.99
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3. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel/Do You Hear What I Hear?
4:17 $0.99
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4. The First Noel/Joy To the World
3:21 $0.99
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5. Canon In D Christmas Medley
4:44 $0.99
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6. Angels We Have Heard On High
5:23 $0.99
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7. Little Drummer Boy/Hark the Herald Angels Sing
3:10 $0.99
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8. Silent Night
3:51 $0.99
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9. Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella/I Saw Three Ships/Christ Was B
3:45 $0.99
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10. What Child Is This/We Three Kings
3:54 $0.99
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11. All Through the Night/Away In A Manger
3:18 $0.99
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12. We Wish You a Merry Christmas/The Holly and the Ivy
2:41 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Lisa Downing has lived in the Denver, Colorado area all of her life and has been actively performing piano in the Denver area since 1982.

Lisa has been fascinated by the piano since the first time she saw one when she was two years old. Her family didn't own a piano at that time, so as she got older, she spent her creative abilities trying to fabricate a piano from cardboard boxes. Soon, her parents saw the desire she had for music and bought their first console piano when she was 10 years old.

She studied privately with several teachers as a young girl including Blanche Button and Bill Alexander.

Lisa attended school in the Cherry Creek School district since she was in 5th grade and graduated from Cherry Creek High School in 1977. Lisa began teaching piano that year focusing with her students on progressive harmony, improvisation, composition and jazz.

She took a year off from her own academic studies and then attended the University of Colorado at Denver and Metropolitan State College simultaneously to study music and piano performance. She graduated with a degree in Traditional and Non-Traditional Music with Keyboard Emphasis in 1982.

Her passion is composing and performing music for solo piano. Lisa's first album is entitled "Think On These Things" and was released in 1991. Her most recent album, "Christmas for Two was released in 2008.

These collections of original solo piano compositions and original arrangements of traditional holiday melodies might be classified as "Neo-Classical" or "New Age". Melodic, reflective and contemplative pieces will generate peaceful visualizations that are perfect for quieting your world and centering your soul.

Thoughtful and introspective, these original, solo piano pieces will breathe inspiration into your heart and your mind. If you enjoy the solo piano stylings of Liz Story, David Lanz or George Winston, your soul is certain to connect with "Think On These Things" and "Christmas for Two".

Lisa's music is played regularly on Sky.FM, created by Gary Farr, and Whisperings Solo Piano Radio Station, created by David Nevue and New Age Piano Radio Station, created by Steven Cravis. She continues to perform in concert venues as well as varied professional situations including corporate and private events.

Ms. Downing also owns Vision Quest Entertainment, originally her own record label and now also a talent agency in Colorado since 1982 that represents over 1200 musicians in the Denver/Boulder area.

Lisa is married to Pete Foster and they live in Littleton, Colorado where she also continues to teach piano students and raise Lisa's son, Andy and Pete's daughter, Corinna.

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Reviews


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REVIEWS NEW AGE

Una manera maravillosa de descubrir y disfrutar de los villancicos más populares
Con Christmas For Two se puede descubrir y disfrutar de grandes clásicos de la navidad sin tener que cambiar constantemente el CD. La extraordinaria pianista Lisa Downing siendo consciente de que la mayoría de los villancicos son mundialmente conocidos, ha optado por dar forma a un álbum repleto de fantásticos medley de los villancicos más famosos, dando en el clavo por completo y mostrando una brillantez y una emoción difícil de describir, un sentimiento sólo apreciado en tan señaladas fechas y que podemos revivir en cualquier momento del año gracias a este gran trabajo.


"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Carol of the Bells" es el tema que abre el CD y una de mis preferidas. La melodía va brincando de un villancico a otro con una originalidad estupenda y un ritmo contundente. Puro deleite!.

"O Holy Night/It Came Upon a Midnight Clear". Un tierno toque de notas altas descubre "O Holy Night", una pieza dulce y conmovedora a la que Lisa le ofrece un cuidado extraordinario. En el fragmento de "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" se desborda la pasión; la mano derecha reproduce la conocida melodía y la mano izquierda mantiene una música de acompañamiento técnicamente interesante.

Misterioso comienza el popurrí "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel/Do You Hear What I Hear?". La fantástica adaptación de Lisa de "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" está dotada de una oscura belleza y "Do You Hear What I Hear" conserva el mismo tono sombrío que el primer villancico. La unión es tan perfecta entre ambas piezas que en ocasiones es difícil apreciar el cambio constante de tema a tema. Me gusta!.

En "The First Noel/Joy to the World" la introducción es completamente nueva, difícil de averiguar qué tema va a sonar. "The First Noel" es el primer fragmento, donde un ingenioso repiqueteo de notas bajas sirven de acompañamiento a la melodía principal. El repiqueteo introduce al conocidísimo "Joy To The World" al que la pianista le aporta una melodía variada ligeramente, aportándole un gran encanto.

Incontables adaptaciones se han hecho del célebre Canon en Re de Johann Pachelbel, bellos pero de cierta sencillez. Lisa nos presenta su particular versión navideña del Canon bajo el nombre "Canon in D Christmas Medley", una maravillosa unión entre el Canon, técnicamente increíble y el famoso "Jingle Bells" que inesperadamente surge de la nada. Otra de mis favoritas y una de las piezas destacadas de este trabajo.

El rápido vaivén de notas que componen los acordes suenan con gracia para acompañar la melodía de "Angels We Have Heard On High". Una de las adaptaciones con una variación notable, pero bastante elegante.

"Little Drummer Boy/Hark the Herald Angels Sing". El primer tema, "Little Drummer Boy", es algo más rápido, enérgico, que la mayoría de las adaptaciones que he oído de esta popular obra, pero su tempo es perfecto para introducir "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", algo más rápida y risueña.

"Silent Night" no puede faltar en ningún recopilatorio de temas navideños. Con el mismo encanto y ternura que caracteriza a esta obra, Lisa se deja llevar por el fervor y con sencillez arranca las hermosas notas que van dando vida a la distinguida y emocionante melodía. Bellísima!.

"Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella/I Saw Three Ships/Christ Was Born On Christmas Day". Tres villancicos encerrados en una misma pista es algo complicado, difícil realizar un cambio y que no resulte chocante para el oyente; para Lisa esto no es problema. Las tres piezas mantienen un carácter dulce y levemente nostálgico, que en ocasiones parece tornarse algo más alegre.

Simples notas abren "What Child Is This/We Three Kings", una magnífica adaptación y unión de estos dos populares villancicos. La primera parte está protagonizada por "What Child Is This", una versión que es una delicia, un delicado baile de notas van formando el popular villancico y con fuerza, aparece "We Three Kings", hermosa y cautivadora. Otra de mis favoritas!.

"All Through the Night/Away in a Manger" es de principio a fin bondad y calidez en estado puro. Una mezcla entrañable que se aferra en el alma gracias a las increíbles manos de Lisa que corren con maestría el teclado del piano.

"We Wish You a Merry Christmas/The Holly and the Ivy" es el tema idóneo para concluir este alucinante trabajo. Una unión alegre y radiante en el que la pianista inunda de luz y felicidad al oyente por unos minutos. Asombroso final!. Otra de mis preferidas!.

Christmas For Two es más que una "Navidad Para Dos", es un álbum que puede disfrutar toda la familia y una manera maravillosa de descubrir y disfrutar de grandiosas adaptaciones de los villancicos más populares de todo el mundo. En tan sólo doce piezas, podemos distinguir más de veinte obras. Algo increíble!!. Christmas For Two es el CD perfecto para disfrutar de la magia de la Navidad, en el que las manos de Lisa Downing ceden todo el sentimiento que posee estas fiestas. Muy altamente recomendable!.

reviewsnewage.com
17/12/10
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
After all of my years of working on Christmas music with my piano students for 2-3 months each year, it takes a very special solo piano Christmas album to get my attention, and Lisa Downing’s "Christmas For Two" is just such an album. Downing’s impeccable technique and her unique interpretations of these Christmas standards make for a warm, cozy listening experience. There are usually at least a few carols in these Christmas collections that just don’t feel right, but this one has no fillers or near-misses - it’s excellent from the first note to the last. There are twelve tracks on "Christmas For Two," but almost all of them are medleys, so the actual carol count is closer to twenty-five. How’s that for a holiday bargain?

"Christmas For Two" begins with a wonderful medley of “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” and “Carol of the Bells” - two of my favorites! I love the dark passion of both of these songs, and Downing gives them a fascinating combination of jazz, classical, and pop treatments that really work. Next up is a gorgeous arrangement of “O Holy Night” paired with “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.” Flowing and peaceful yet dramatic in all the right places, this is another beauty. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” and “Do You Hear What I Hear” is an unexpected combination, but it works incredibly well. Downing keeps “Emmanuel” dark and emotional as is the tradition, but it feels like a much more modern song. Conversely, “Do You Hear” is much more somber than you usually hear it, making it sound older and more classical. Amazing! The biggest surprise on the album is the “Canon in D Christmas Medley.” Rather that mixing in religious carols, Downing blends in “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,” “Deck the Halls,” and “Jingle Bells”! You have to hear this one to believe it! “Angels We Have Heard On High” and “Silent Night” are the only songs that stand alone, and they are both very elegant arrangements. “What Child Is This?” and “We Three Kings” are graceful and delicate, but deeply emotional. The concluding track is “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “The Holly and the Ivy,” another duo I wouldn’t have thought to put together, but it works seamlessly. If you only buy one new Christmas album this year, be sure to check this one out! It’s my favorite so far this year. Very highly recommended!
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John P. Olsen / NewAgeMusicWorld.Com / NewAgeMusic.nu

Christmas Solo Piano Music of Lisa Downing
The Christmas season has officially arrived and what a special time of year ! While I believe most website visitors realize the true meaning of Christmas and the real reason we celebrate this special day in the highest regard, our time honored tradition of gift giving continues which naturally raises the question of what makes a suitable gift for our friends or loved ones. Lisa Downing from Littleton Colorado is a musician with a promising answer on what makes not only a suitable gift, but a personalized one most people would enjoy receiving and a gift most likely to renew their true reason for the season Christmas spirit like her CD album did for me. Actually, when you take into consideration every aspect of purchasing the relatively inexpensive and long lasting gift of music for nearly every gift occasion, this easy to make decision translates into a logical choice. Lisa Downing has a Solo Piano album titled Christmas for Two that may be of interest to you and while there are many exceptional Christmas albums in the New Age genre along with every musical taste, Lisa Downing has a special gift herself as a top solo pianist in every sense of the word and this is precisely articulated on her Holiday music release. Plus, knowing Lisa was a youth pastor at her church in Littleton earlier in life and performed in the Christian, Folk, Pop-Rock band named Wings of Faith, you know that Lisa’s heart is in the right place. Her lifelong commitment as a professional musician are praiseworthy too since Lisa Downing earned a university degree in music, attending both the University of Colorado at Denver and Metropolitan State College, receiving a joint specialized BA degree in Traditional and Non-Traditional Music with keyboard emphasis. Lisa is also an esteemed concert pianist having toured or performed with other renowned artists like David Lanz, Suzanne Ciani, Liz Story, and Peter Kater. Christmas for Two on her Vision Quest Entertainment label is a Solo Piano Christmas album cordially personifying Lisa Downing’s expressive talents in several ways, plus the 12 holiday tracks are perfect in the sense they reveal traditional holiday music in her skillful expressive touch like you would hear while attending one of her highly personalized concerts. While Christmas for Two is considered New Age / Neo Classical, I trust any label is of less regard here since every piece chosen for the album will be identifiable and appreciated by everyone like The First Noel / Joy to the World. You will notice her Holiday release is composed with a delicate balance by the companion format where two songs are united into one like heard on All through the Night / Away in a Manger so there are actually 22 titles in all with the single song exceptions of Silent Night, Canon in D Christmas Medley, and Angels We Have Heard On High. The traditional holiday pieces What Child Is This / We Three Kings and then O Holy Night / It Came Upon a Midnight Clear were my 2 favorites, plus I found the richness in depth and quality intonation regarding her performance on a Yamaha C7 Acoustic Piano was proficient in entirety like I had expected. Every song on Christmas for Two is delivered with precision and Lisa’s personal creativity shines by the unique manner in which the songs were impeccably composed into one, with treble and bass notes reaching many proficient runs and chords in all ranges along the piano keyboard. Christmas for Two varies from soft and contemplative at moments to spirited phrasing with majestic crescendos like her amazing version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Carol of the Bells which give new meaning to the term Holiday music. Now that you know I believe simply listening to Holiday music will help renew the Christmas spirit for anyone like it did for me, and where to search for Christmas Piano Solo music that brilliantly succeeds in establishing the seasonal tone, I hope to have been of some assistance today. I trust everyone will have an especially joyful Christmas this year while recognizing the greatest gift of all and true reason we celebrate the season.
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Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
At the ambidextrous hands of Lisa Downing, Christmas music isn’t just for Christmas anymore.

Christmas for Two is pianist Downing’s interpretation of several holiday standards. And by interpretation, I really mean interpretation. This is not a tired regurgitation of seasonal songs that everyone has heard millions of times over. Rather, Downing really interprets the songs, using them as jumping off points for new musical directions and really making them her own.

The result is an album whose appeal extends far beyond the yuletide. In fact, Christmas for Two can be listened to from two perspectives. On one level, the CD can be enjoyed as a collection of classic Christmas tunes with a musical twist. On another level, the album can be enjoyed simply as an album of beautiful piano arrangements that happen to reference familiar holiday themes.

The best thing about Christmas for Two is that it provides a great listening experience all year round, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. That is the mark of true artistry, especially as exhibited by Downing on this release. It’s also appropriate that a Christmas album be listenable anytime, because when you really think about it, the ideals and themes behind Christmas are about extolling them continually, regardless of the season.

Consider giving the gift of music with Christmas for Two, for Christmas or any occasion.
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