I count every Christmas song in this series among my favorites. But today’s arrangement of Carol of the Bells by David Foster is on the even shorter list of contenders for my single favorite Christmas song of all time.
That might seem surprising since it’s nothing like Mannheim Steamroller’s style. It’s a classical orchestra piece with piano accompaniment. What I love about it, though, is the masterful way Foster weaves together different musical themes. He starts off with the traditional melody of the carol, which is in a minor key, but goes back and forth between the melody and an original bridge written in a major key, sort of a roller coaster ride of musical moods. Then the bridge leads into a piano interlude which culminates in a spectacular brass fanfare. Even though the song is only two and a half minutes long, it feels “complete” in a way that I’d expect from songs twice that length; all in all, a truly satisfying musical experience. This is another one that you’ll want to play on nice speakers if you have them.
You can now get the entire series of songs as a Spotify playlist.