Critically Acclaimed Singer/Songwriter Fernando Ortega is releasing his first Christmas record ever! The track listing from start to finish follows the birth of Christ. Includes classic Christmas songs such as Joy to the World and What Child is This.
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YET ANOTHER ACOUSTIC DELIGHT| Posted November 24, 2008
Before his major label debut in 1997, Fernando Ortega recorded a variety of albums independently, utilizing mainly acoustic instruments and understated arrangements to capture the simple beauty of hymns and other traditional songs. And in many regards Ortega jumpstarted, and contributed immensely to, the hymnody renaissance with his authentic brand of folk recordings.
Now over a decade later, with several best-selling major label releases, a trio of Dove Awards and an established name in Contemporary Christian music, Ortega pays homage to those first recordings with Christmas Songs, a stripped down ode to the birth of Christ.
As is to be expected, Ortega sticks to songs with spiritual significance, mainly traditional hymns to render his impression of the Christmas season. And as is also expected, he does so quite eloquently.
From the record’s expectant opener, “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” to the poignant (and previously popular original) closing track “Jesus, King of Angels” Fernando honors the Christmas story with familiar melodies and understandable arrangements. “Joy to the World” benefits from the swell of an accordion. “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella” gives off an Irish flair with its Celtic fiddle; and a melancholic cello deepens “What Child is This?”
My only complaint of an otherwise exquisite album is a compliment as well. Though Ortega has a magnificent touch on the ivories (proof of his classical training), his intimate vocals are so quietly alluring they are genuinely missed on the instrumental tracks interspersed throughout the CD.
With or without vocals, Christmas Songs collects some of the greatest Christmas hymns minus the typical holiday hype, and the result is quite stirring. In Ortega’s own non-pretentious way, he has created yet another masterpiece. –Andrew Greer
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from Christian Music Planet. Click here to visit ChristianMusicPlanet.com today!
Haunting and Beautiful| Posted October 22, 2008
Fernando Ortega's first venture into the wonderful sonic world of Christmas music, certainly makes me hope that it isn't His last! His delightful voice and memorable melodies are sure to make you an instant fan. The balance of pure instrumental arrangments and solid vocals is sure to put you at peace during the turbulant holiday season!
I was pleasantly surprised as I was not formerly a fan of his music.
The mix of songs both familliar and un-failliar is pleasant to say the least. The opening song "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus" showcases Ortega's dazzling vocals, while the following "Carol of the Birds" (not to be confused with Carol of the Bells) displays his enchanting melodies.
The album continues with traditional songs such as "Joy To The World", "Go Tell It On The Mountain", "What Child Is This", O Little Town Of Bethlehem", and "Angels We Have Heard On High", as well as Ancient classics like "Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella" and the new "Jesus, King of Angels".
If you buy any one CD this Christmas Season, let this be on your top 5 list!