Xmas Piano 1 Cover Album by Marcus Sukiennik is a 10-tracklist cover album full of holiday classics that gets you in the holiday spirit.
Marcus Sukiennik, a superb musician from Cologne, is a pianist. His primary influences include jazz and classical music, pianists such as Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock, as well as Ludovica Einaudi and the old guard of classical composers. His passion is the piano and its history in jazz and classical music. He just had a handful of significant gigs from years ago. He used to play at least 180 gigs every year before the pandemic, but he’s already back on track. In the last two years, he played a lot of solo piano in bars, hotels, and concerts with a small ensemble on cruise ships, concerts for babies and kids, and some nice Klezmer concerts with orchestra and rhythm section.
One of his most well-known Christmas albums, “Xmas Piano Vol. 1,” was released in 2012. Now, ten years later, he re-recorded the song in the highest possible sound quality, in accordance with current recording technology: excellent audio quality (192 kHz, 32 bit). On November 25th, 2022, Marcus Sukiennik released the must-hear “Xmas Piano 1” album. It’s a cover album full of holiday classics to get you in the holiday spirit.
“Xmas Piano 1” is a popular Christmas album that Marcus Sukiennik has now remastered in high quality. It contains ten well-known Christmas songs that he arranged in 2011 as part of a project for live performances in Cologne’s most famous shopping center, the Rheincenter Weiden. Since then, the Christmas music has been performed throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons, including at the 5-star Excelsior Hotel Ernst in Cologne.
At Marcus Sukiennik’s studio, a cover of “Xmas Piano 1” was recorded. At least the recordings of him playing the solo piano were all his own creations. He also has a label. Keep an eye out for a significant release featuring a band and a string ensemble this year. For a project with numerous gigs for Advent and Christmas, arrangements were developed. He made 10 contemporary adaptations of well-known, primarily German Christmas carols since he didn’t want to perform dull old-school music. The music is a fusion of jazz, pop, and classical.
The first track on the album, “Alle Jahre wieder,” a well-known German Christmas carol, translates to “Every year again” in English. Wilhelm Hey wrote the song, which is typically sung to a melody credited to Friedrich Silcher, in 1837. In this rendition, a ballad meets choir acoustic composition features a beautiful blend of seriousness and joy. This composition, which ranges from the classic to the choppy and aggressive, will ring in your ears like a sprinkle of holiday cheer. It sets a lovely mood for what is to come. Marcus Sukiennik takes the listener on a journey as his fingers deftly dance over the keys. For “Alle Jahre wieder,” Marcus Sukuennik almost glides across the piano. It’s a fun tune with a well-choreographed rhythm that blends instrumental pockets with this pianist’s deft work. As this translator orchestrates this beautiful piece of music, the ivories vibrate with the joy of the holiday.
The second song on the album, “Heiligste Nacht,” translates as “Holy Night” in English. This renowned Christmas carol version by Franz Xaver Gruber, written in 1818, begins with the grace and dexterity of jazz. Imagine this gorgeously smooth and sophisticated rendition playing on Christmas Eve in a jazz club in the heart of New York. “Heiligeste Nacht” broadens the complex window through which Marcus Sukiennek sees the world. If you only remember one thing from this master, it should be how he uses the notes between notes to create dense tapestries of notes and rhapsodic sounds.
The third song on the album, “Ihr Kinderlein kommet,” means “Oh, come, tiny children” in English. The words for the original play were written by a Catholic priest and author, Christoph von Schmid, in 1978, while Franz Xaver Luft composed the music in 1837. This brisk composition’s jagged bottom sounds and rising higher octave major tones transport listeners on a one-horse open slay of a ride. The conclusion is excellent.
In addition, the fourth song in the album, “Jingle Bells,” is a genuinely original rendition of a classic Christmas tradition! The way this work has been expressed is extremely complex, unique, and motivating. Although there are brief flashes of the classic melody to provide some familiarity, this tune is largely unique and offers a novel interpretation of a well-known tune. It’s a wonderful piece. The arrangement is superb and features wonderful chord progressions and harmonies.
The fifth song on the album, “Kommet, ihr Hirten,” which translates as “Come, ye Shepherds,” is a German Christmas Carol from Bohemia that was derived from a Czech Carol. Isn’t it fascinating and heartwarming to hear about cross-cultural harmony? The piece’s synopsis incorporates elements from the nativity story, the annunciation to the shepherds, and their journey to Christ’s manger. Marcus Sukiennik’s interpretation has a gothic feel to it, with both happiness and sadness within its manuscript. It is an intriguing enigma of a piece that I will return to throughout and after the Christmas season.
Aside from that, the sixth song on the album, “Leise rieselt der Schnee,” which translates to “The snow falls softly,” is reportedly one of the most well-known carols. The Protestant pastor Eduard Ebel (1839–1905) wrote it in Graudenz in 1895, and it was then included in his collection of poetry under the name Weihnachtsgruß. This composition’s modification by Marcus Sukiennik should not be moved or shaken. Take it exactly as is, and it will go down smoothly. Pay attention, soak it all in, and savor the performance. It has beautiful tunes and a warm atmosphere. From the very beginning, the listener is hooked.
“Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann,” which translates to “Tomorrow Comes Santa Claus,” is the seventh track in the album and is a new take on the classic tune “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” The master, on the other hand, operates the pulleys, and we hear a much more lively version, almost like a choir performing it.
The musical spectrum is also given vibrant color by the album’s eighth track, “O Jesulein zart.” This is a song that I am very interested in. Unknown history to me, with much to ponder. A mid-tempo performance with a storytelling format rather than a Christmas carol or hymn. The piece progresses as it develops, bringing out several emotions and transitions to help listeners understand that this is a story. A Christmas tale, it is also performed with the intensity and nuance of a full church choir. It has all of the notes and tones that make up a symphony for the times. It agitates you while also providing you with the comfort of a hot cup of cocoa and the company of a loved one.
The ninth track is “O Tannenbaum,” which translates as “O Christmas Tree.” The album contains a German Christmas song that is not of Christmas origin. By the middle of the nineteenth century, it had become associated with the traditional Christmas tree and was sung as a Christmas carol. This version of “O Tannenbaum” hints at a gospel tone—fun, uplifting, and full of soul—with splutters and splashes of traditional hymns and jazz interpretation. “O Tannenbaum” is a classic with a lot of complexities. It really contributes to the Christmas spirit that has been hovering over us throughout the album. The only thing missing is the choir. A fantastic rendition of a classic.
Marcus Sukiennek is currently wrapping a bow around this fantastic present with “Stille Nacht,” the album’s final track. If you are unfamiliar with “Stille Nacht,” perhaps you are familiar with “Silent Night.” Who in the Western world is unfamiliar with this essential component of the Christmas season? Ending the story with a song that unites many listeners and leaves them wanting even more is true to the Christmas spirit. “Stille Nacht” is the perfect gift for any album to close the doors.
This is more than just art; it is what people love and gather for. So, when you hug a loved one, remember that love is shared without words. Go listen to this fantastic album.
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