Reviews / Kudos: noël éclectique

About  noël éclectique...

Antoinette Wagner, President of Alliance Française of Tucson says about "Noël éclectique":

"Don Sheppard is a musical phenomenon who, this time, manages to bring us both French and American Christmas songs co-mingled together. Noël éclectique is sure to touch all of us who grew up on both sides of the Atlantic.

His French is flawless. Vive la nostalgie!"

 Carol Swanson, Reviewer for

"Parlez-vous francais? Non? Oui? It matters not--regardless of how multilingual the listener, Noël éclectique is a charmer. Don Sheppard, an unabashed Francophile, presents a pleasing mix of 14 Christmas songs, mostly in French. Note, however, that many of the French tunes are well-known holiday standards that will be immediately recognizable to all. The ample liner notes provide the lyrics, including any necessary translations.

I must confess up front to a certain personal bias regarding this CD. Upon graduating from college, I spent a year teaching English in a university at Clermont-Ferrand, France, and it was one of the great adventures of my life. While there, I was a very minor chanteuse in the local choir; as a result, I am automatically favorably predisposed to embrace Sheppard's chansons with open arms. After hearing the album, I'm still giving Noël éclectique a hug.

Sheppard made a great choice by including the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus on five tracks. The boys add an extra layer of musicality and a kids' sense of fun, both big benefits when crafting an upbeat album for Christmas. The CD opens to the sounds of children's laughter and bells--both of the sleigh and church variety--quite the appropriate beginning to a holiday album. Sheppard has a fine, light baritone voice that confidently possesses the lyrics, whether in French or English.

My favorite tracks include Noël Nouvelet with its addictive percussive beat, the Boys Chorus' excellent a cappella treatment of Carol of the Bells, and the synthesizer-driven Les Anges dans nos Campagnes (Angels We Have Heard on High), which combines strong vocals by Sheppard and the Boys Chorus.

Hankering for a trip to Paris for the holidays? Plopping Sheppard's Noël éclectique onto your audio system would be infinitely more cost effective! Au revoir!

--Carol Swanson"


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Vive la Nostalgie      P.O. Box 86831       Tucson, AZ      85745