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A Christmas Celebration: Send Round the Song (1992)

Tony Randall and some children, filmed in Connecticut, provide the framework of the history of some of the carols sung by opera stars.
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Narrator / Host
Kurt Rydl ...
Singer of Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Hermann Prey ...
Singer of O Tannenbaum
Peter Dvorský ...
Singer of Post Troika
Edda Moser ...
Singer of Fröhliche Weihnachten Überall
...
Singer of Leise Rieselt der Schnee
...
Singer of Silent Night and O Holy Night
Peter Hofmann ...
Singer of Adeste Fidelis
Nicolai Ghiaurov ...
Singer of Splendor piu belle from 'La Favorita'
Mirella Freni ...
Singer of Ave Maria
...
Singer of Misericordia
...
Singer of Gesu Bambino
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Tony Randall and some children, filmed in Connecticut, provide the framework of the history of some of the carols sung by opera stars.

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Documentary | Music

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1992 (USA)  »

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Send Round the Joy
25 December 2010 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

Since the early 1990s when I first saw this program as a kid on Polish TV, I have come back to it each year with great pleasure and intense sentiment. For all these years I have found it unique as high art addressed to children, a wonderful surprise which unites the magic, the spell and the religiosity of Christmas time with the grandiosity of greatest voices of the world. Therefore, both kids and the adults are supplied with unforgettable pleasures.

There are, as a matter of fact, two dimensions. The emphasis seems to be put on the meeting at the Christmas tree. In Connecticut, on a blissful Christmas Eve, the famous actor Tony Randall enthusiastically and passionately talks to children about Christmas - about its origins, its gist, changing celebrations throughout centuries, the various traditions and the history of certain carols. There are some wonderfully educational pieces of information and various stories embedded within the contexts. The stories deserve special attention as being amusing, memorable and truly captivating. One of such that cannot be skipped is the story of how the famous carol "Silent Night Holy Night" was written in Austria in the 19th century. Consider also the wonderful Estonian legend that Tony Randall mentions. Although the kids are looking forward to unwrapping the presents, they are involved in the captivating intercourse.

In between come various carols sung by the greatest artists (Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Edita Gruberova, Kurt Rydl, Vienna Boys Choir, Katia Ricciarelli and Mirella Freni) and filmed at the most idyllic places in Austria. So we have all the popular carols like "Jingle Bells", "White Christmas" "O Come All Ye Faithful." The atmosphere is purely magical! At the same time, everything makes a perfect harmony and reaches its climax at "O Holy Night" tenor voice of Placido Domingo with the glorious views of the mountains illuminated by morning sunshine.

The absolute pearl in the program that touches my heart whenever I see it is, except for the aforementioned "O Holy Night" majestic interpretation, Luciano Pavarotti's "Gesu Bambino" ... Mr Pavarotti is disguised as a shepherd and stands at the manger with children. I also love Edita Gruberova's interpretation of the German carol "Leise Rieselt Der Schnee" and Peter Dvorsky's "Post Troika" but all artists, as a matter of fact, leave some impression in you not only thanks to heavenly voices but because of stunning visuals and really interesting carols. It is a pity that there is no mention about Polish carols (absolute record in number). That would be a nice surprise to entail something...but, of course, you cannot require everything.

SEND ROUND THE SONG is a lovely program for this glorious time that Christmas is. It is not a waste of time to organize these 60 minutes, sit at the TV with your family, try not to reflect on all days of a passing year but see it and let oneself be absorbed by its message...and what is the message? SEND ROUND THE JOY because of this Little Child of Bethlehem that illuminates the spirit of humanity. A highly recommended stuff for Christmas time. There is something for everyone. I am telling you this as a Pole who loves carols and as a Christmas buff. God, let it be Christmas throughout the year...


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