O Come Emmanuel (2003)

Nominated for "Best Holiday Album" of 2004 by the Lifestyle Music Awards. O Come Emmanuel includes many of your traditional Christmas favorites in new and interesting arrangements. With this album, David captures both the emotion and magnitude of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, from the haunting Silent Night to David's rousing rendition of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

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"Being a piano teacher who starts students on Christmas music in early-November in preparation for the winter recital, I'm not always very receptive to reviewing Christmas albums much past Thanksgiving, but David Nevue's "O Come Emmanuel" is truly exceptional. David's retelling of the Christmas story with his solo piano arrangements and interpretations is deeply personal as well as spiritual and inspirational. The fourteen selections include two originals, and all are of a religious nature. David Nevue has a wonderful way of taking a simple melody line and making it full of meaning. His elegant playing style is never overly showy, preferring a direct and honest approach, which takes a lot more skill and heart than pure showmanship takes. Nevue set out to create a Christmas album that was truly something different, and succeeded well.

The CD opens and closes with hauntingly beautiful arrangements of the title song, rich in its dark minor key moodiness. "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" is one of the oldest Christmas carols still sung today, but in capable hands such as Nevue's the song is both ancient and contemporary, full of deep emotion that is ageless. "Away in A Manger" is a song that is often the first Christmas song learned in Sunday School, and Nevue introduces his lovely version with a one-hand melody line, emphasizing the children¹s view of this sweet song. He then brings in some of the other melodies (there are at least 40 melodies that go with this song!) that are often used, making each verse a little different. "Watching Their Flocks" is one of the two original pieces, and is quietly introspective, possibly suggesting the peaceful solitude of shepherds tending to their flocks late into the night - very beautiful. "Joy to the World" opens with a long, improvisational intro and then comes into the song itself at the chorus - a very interesting and effective approach. "Silent Night" is pure peacefulness. "Coventry Carol" is one of my favorites. Nevue again opens the piece with a long prelude that is mysterious and dark, and his interpretation of the piece itself is emotionally charged - a wonderful arrangement. "The Gift" is the second original piece, and it is also a real beauty in its simple honesty and gentle message. "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" is the most upbeat piece in the collection, with a jazzy treatment - starting out slowly with a rubato rhythm, and evolving into several variations. Great stuff! "O Come Emmanuel" is one of my favorite Christmas albums now, and I highly recommend it!"

- reviewed by Kathy Parsons, for MainlyPiano.com, on 6/17/2003

A Selection of Buyer Reviews posted at Amazon.com...

"Its not even Christmas anymore and I keep playing this music (on a CD in my car) - Really enjoy just about everything from David Nevue - crystal clear, clean, simple, enjoyable solo piano music!"

"I've owned this CD for two Christmas seasons now, and it's been one of my most frequently played albums. The arrangements are not so different that you lose the familiar melody, but they add interest and beauty. And the original compositions are lovely as well, especially "The Gift.""

"THE most beautiful Christmas album I have ever heard. I love all of David's music, but this is one of my favorite albums. I have always loved Christmas and this just made me love it more!"

"Very well composed. Songs about God's heart in Christmas. The composition is a new take on traditional songs. These songs are beautiful."

More Customer Reviews of this album at Amazon.com.

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