Katherine Jenkins: This is Christmas

4 December 2012, 10:12 | Updated: 19 April 2013, 16:34

A festive treat from the reigning queen of the classical crossover charts, mixing traditional carols with light-hearted seasonal songs on her first official Christmas album. Album of the Week, 3 December 2012.

After eight albums tackling the heights of opera repertoire and some popular favourites, Katherine Jenkins has taken the plunge and released a Christmas album. Those expecting a frivolous frolic through the festive season may be surprised by the sheer variety on the album. Opening with the understated strains of O Come, O Come Emmanuel, making use of Katherine's mellow lower register, and moving through to Sleep Quietly My Jesus, the album has its fair share of traditional contemplative carols.

The lively sleigh bell-fuelled Deck the Halls, with its rustic strings and folk-inspired bassoon accompaniment, is a particular highlight for those in need of a Christmas pick-me-up, but there are also plenty of more modern festive tunes, including a jazzy interlude in the form of Santa Baby and a classically inspired arrangement of The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire). The lush orchestrations in Angels from the Realms of Glory and the Wexford Carol bring a warming twist to these well-known carols.

There's a slight departure from the Christmas theme with Katherine's duet with renowned Spanish tenor, Placido Domingo: Come What May, notable for its appearance in Baz Lurhmann's Moulin Rouge. It sounds a little out of place nestled amongst the carols, but the passion in the lyrics makes it a compelling listen.

Fans of Katherine's unique vocals will certainly enjoy this diverse journey through some of the greatest Christmas music, with moments of beauty and festive cheer in equal measure.