Mannheim Steamroller Orchestra: Christopher Hake, Kimberly Salistean, Arnold Schatz, Keith Plenert, Karen Martin, Scott Shoemaker (violin); Judy Divis, Sarah Richardson (viola); Gregory Clinton, Holly Stout (cello); Janet Wesley Kelly (harp); Robert Jenkins (oboe); Eric Hansen, George Vosburgh (trumpet, piccolo trumpet); Laurence Lowe (horn).
Recorded live at the Orpheum Theater, Omaha, Nebraska on January 3rd and 4th, 1996.
Additional personnel: Janet Wesley Kelly (harp); Christopher Hake, Kimberly Salistean, Karen Martin, Arnold Schatz, Scott Shoemaker, Keith Plenert (violin); Judy Divis, Sarah Richardson (viola); Holly Stout, Gregory Clinton (cello); Eric Hansen (piccolo, trumpet); Robert Jenkins (oboe); George Vosburgh (trumpet, piccolo trumpet); Laurence Lowe (horns); Mannheim Steamroller Orchestra.
This live set of Christmas favorite by New Age/Baroque and roll favorites Mannheim Steamroller is a zesty combination of picks from the group's three bestselling Christmas discs, all giftwrapped and waiting under the tree. While it's in the comfort of the studio that Davis and company work most of their magic, combining recorders, keyboards and orchestra into a highly stylized and unique sound, the live performance captured herein shows that on its best nights the Steamroller can rise above the studio to really touch the audience. It helps that the orchestra is handpicked, rather than the pickup group Davis and company often employ to uneven results when touring. The first Mannheim Christmas disc was a revelation, the second was perhaps better though without the benefit of being revolutionary, and the third was adequate. This fourth is probably the best of the bunch. ~ Ross Boissoneau