When Christmas is Near
"When Christmas is Near" (2001) contains original piano arrangements that are romantic, dramatic, nostalgic, or simply dance over the keys with Yelena's light jazzy touch. You will love the beautiful new harmonies and developed piano textures in the familiar songs. This will become one of your favorite holiday CDs, also suitable as classy piano background music at any time of the year.
From Yelena's Journal:
"For many years I played Christmas music at churches, at Christmas parties and for my friends. Often after performances I was asked if I had any recordings made with my Christmas repertoire, and I always answered that I did not feel like making those, as I thought the market was over saturated with all kinds of Christmas stuff, so why adding to it? I started to tune myself towards accepting the idea of recording Christmas album after number of people told me that among tons of Christmas records it is not that easy to find something really nice. They told me that they'd love to have my stuff to listen to.
During spring and summer of 2001 I put my energy into writing piano arrangements of my favorite old Christmas carols and tunes. Simultaneously I was polishing my performance of the ones that were already done and making all kinds of editorials. I had not started actual recording until I was satisfied with every note and every stroke on the piano keys.
Recording sessions are probably the toughest part of the whole process, yet I enjoy them the most. It is when I can really make it all happen - whether it'll be worthy of all the trouble or not. I love the challenge of perfecting every sound, every passage before 'unforgiving ears' of the microphones which 'hear' and record any sounds including such nonmusical sounds as my breathing, swallowing, chair clicking, etc. I have to also avoid knocking sounds that my fingers or fingernails might make while playing a difficult passage, not to mention that I can not have the luxuries like air conditioner or heater running (too much background noise).
After recording many takes of each song I have to select the best ones. Choosing is difficult for me, because life performance is never perfect and never evenly inspired; I might prefer one version with my heart, but be forced to choose another with my mind, or vise versa. The finished project must meet very high standards.
After I'd made my final choices, I started the mastering process - working on the quality of sound, making sure the volumes are optimal, determining the order of songs and other minute details. At the same time I was working on the jewel case inserts. I wanted to find something very gentle and heartwarming, but not a cliché, something personal. I wanted to express Christmas Spirit with power. I came across the picture of my firstborn son looking at his first Christmas tree. My search was over.
"When Christmas is Near" CD was released right before Thanksgiving 2001. Release of a CD always reminds me delivering a child: all the hard work was done, the complications were behind and forgotten at the first glimpse of my baby's face. I understand that from now on my 'baby's' life is out of my hands, separate from me with a destiny of its own..."
|When Christmas is Near||mp3||$0.99|
|1.||There's a Song in the Air||Listen||Download|
|2.||O Come, O Come, Emmanuel||Listen||Download|
|3.||The Holy and the Ivy / We 3 Kings / Coventry Carol||Listen||Download|
|4.||O Little Town of Bethlehem / Away in a Manger||Listen||Download|
|5.||Patapan / God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen||Listen||Download|
|6.||Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming / What Child is This||Listen||Download|
|8.||On This Day Earth Shall Ring||Listen||Download|
|9.||Sing We Now of Christmas / He is Born||Listen||Download|
|10.||O Jesus So Meek, O Jesu So Kind||Listen||Download|
|11.||Here We Come / Masters in This Hall||Listen||Download|
|12.||The First Noel||Listen||Download|
|13.||Silent Night, Holy Night||Listen||Download|
|14.||Jingle Bells / It Came Upon the Midnight Clear||Listen||Download|
|15.||The Nutcracker Suite||Listen||Download|