Los Romeros Play Holiday Classics with a Spanish Tinge

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Free Download: Los Romeros play the X'Mas Suite - 'Little Comet Minuet' *

Given that guitar ensembles and Christmas music are two surefire sales drivers in classical music, it's a wonder what took Los Romeros so long to release a holiday album. "Christmas with Los Romeros" is a pleasingly mellow collection of classic carols, songs and one newly-commissioned work, all delivered with a Spanish accent befitting the family ensemble, which today consists of second and third generation members.

As the group patriarch Pepe Romero explains in a video interview, the recording actually started with a commission: the conductor/composer Massimo Paris wrote the X'Mas Suite, an attractive five-movement dance suite for guitar quartet and orchestra, which the ensemble plays with customary flair and polish. The rest of the album includes several carols given a Spanish tinge, including a heavily punctuated “Carol of the Bells,” a piquant "Little Drummer Boy” and a curious mash-up of “O Come, O Come” and "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen."

The selections with orchestra include Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and the Ave Maria of both Gounod and Schubert, which thankfully lean towards sophisticated rather than schmaltzy. The quartet brings it home with a medley of “O Christmas Tree" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Christmas with Los Romeros
Deutsche Grammophon
Available at Arkivmusic.com

* The free download is available on WQXR's Facebook Page. Not on Facebook, no problem. You can also receive it in our weekly email newsletter. Sign up here:


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Comments [5]

p jobst

i have been trying this "free" download and I submitted my email for the newletter, but it is not intuitive how I may obtain the "free" download.

Dec. 07 2012 11:06 PM

@Robert - thanks for catch. Guitar ensemble is correct.

Jimi Hendrix was indeed an amazing guitarist though, alas, not quite compatible with our format.

Dec. 07 2012 01:44 PM
Robert from NYC

In the home-page teaser you write "Given that guitars ensembles . . . ." Oops.

I had not associated guitar ensembles with Xmas music, so here's a lacuna I need to patch up. Thank you.

And I'll bet there's something in the Xmas guitar canon by that one-man guitar ensemble, Jimmy Hendrix. Please play!

Dec. 06 2012 11:48 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Love their version of "For Unto Us A Child Is Born" from Handel's Messiah! It is quite different and beautiful.

Dec. 06 2012 10:40 AM
Peter O'Malley

Interesting that you are plugging this album, as I frequently wonder why the Romeros, individually and in ensemble, appear so rarely in WQXR's playlists, which tend to feature Sharon Isben and John Williams, or "Milos"the one named wonder, in most of the guitar selections that are played.

Dec. 03 2012 03:25 PM

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