Releasing this collection of Christmas favourites on a solo acoustic, revered classical guitarist Craig Ogden is reforming a long partnership with Classic FM in an attempt to get us feeling all festive. Having released previous albums in the summer, ‘Christmas Time’ is Ogden’s first attempt at capturing the mood of this time of year, and he does it very well.
Consisting of 16 tracks you will already be familiar with (‘Deck The Halls’, ‘Fairytale of New York’, ‘Little Donkey’ etc.), this album transposes them to solo acoustic guitar – Ogden’s delicate picking doing an excellent job of boiling the songs down to their core, stripping them back to excellent effect.
Particularly strong are the likes of ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’, which could easily become repetitive verse on verse. Instead, Ogden uses slightly different arrangements each time around to keep things fresh. The addition of strings at various junctures also helps in this way, in particular ‘Three Kings From Persian Lands Afar’ which is dominated by strings moving in counterpoint to the ever present acoustic guitar.