LABEL: Deutsche Grammophon
RELEASE DATE: 2009.10.26
RELEASE COUNTRY: WORLDWIDE
Sting Official Site:
I am listing to the CD as I type this blog and it is amazing. Very nice to listen to.
Review from CodaFM
'If on a Winter's Night' presents an arc of songs that conjure the season of spirits, the eerie silences of the snow; days of solitude and reflection for some, a time of re-birth and celebration for many. With traditional music of the British Isles as their starting point, Sting and his guest musicians draw the listener in through a collection of songs, carols, and lullabies spanning the centuries – such as 'The Snow it Melts the Soonest' (traditional Newcastle ballad), 'Soul Cake' (traditional English "begging" song) 'Gabriel's Message' (14th century carol), as well as two of Sting's own compositions – 'Lullaby for an Anxious Child' and 'The Hounds of Winter'. Also featured on the album is 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' – a musical reworking and English translation (by Sting) of Der Leiermann from Schubert's classic winter song-cycle Winterreise. For this exploration of the themes and emotions of winter Sting is joined by friend and long time colleague, guitarist Dominic Miller – and an ensemble of three remarkable musicians from Northern England and Scotland: Kathryn Tickell (fiddle and Northumbrian pipes) Julian Sutton (melodian) and Mary MacMaster (metal string Scottish harp). Additional guest artists include Vincent Ségal (cello), Daniel Hope (violin), Chris Botti (trumpet), Ibrahim Maalouf (trumpet), Stile Antico (vocal ensemble), Cyro Baptista (percussion), Bijan Chemirani (percussion) and the Webb Sisters (vocals). Together they've created an album with a wonderful, warm, and unique ensemble sound – an acoustic meditation on winter.
Review from The Hollywood Reporter by Roger Friedman
All the tracks on "If On A Winter's Night" are exceptional, rethought Christmas-type tales that make you want to put on the CD, pour some wine, and get into the holiday mood. But this one, and 'Christmas at Sea', Sting's take on Robert Louis Stevenson, are examples of how this musician continues to grow and experiment successfully. Sting's intrepid musicianship, his willingness to explore and expand, is quite frankly missing from the current generation of "rock stars." They should take a lesson from people like him, Paul Simon, and David Byrne. Last month, Sting and his band recorded 'If On A Winter's Night' live at Durham Cathedral in Britain. The DVD gets released on November 23rd, and three days later, on Thanksgiving, the whole concert plays on PBS's "Great Performances" across the country. Sting also turns up next Thursday at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shows as the special guest of Stevie Wonder
Review from Sting.com by Dave & Wendy
Weaving through all the songs on Sting's latest album "If On A Winter's Night…" are the themes of winter, ghosts and spirits, religion and the pull of home back to loved and missed ones. The musicians and singers complement the songs impeccably – the Northumbrian pipes of Kathryn Tickell are so evocative of the the northeast and are an instant reminder to older fans of his classic 1991 album "The Soul Cages", an album that drew heavily on his roots. Standout tracks include "Christmas At Sea", a poem written by Robert Louis Stevenson that is combined with the gaelic song "Thograinn Thograinn" and provides one of the most evocative songs that Sting has recorded. "Soul Cake" is a very catchy song that is guaranteed to etch its way into your subconscious after the first listen and is the most immediate track on the album; "The Snow It Melts The Soonest" is a hauntingly beautiful northumbrian track; "The Burning Babe" contrasts a macabre tale with a jolly tune to great effect, and Sting combines his own lyrics to a piece of Bach on the melancholic "You Only Cross My Mind In Winter". Taken with traditional Christmas songs such as "Gabriel's Message" and the "Cherry Tree Carol", some reworkings of older songs such as "The Hounds of Winter" and "Lullaby To An Anxious Child", and more obscure pieces from centuries past such as "Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming" and "Now Winter Comes Slowly" means that Sting delivers a thoughtful and beautifully judged seasonally themed album without once having to mention reindeer, snowmen or Santa Claus.