The album was released worldwide on November 3rd, 1998. It took only nine days for Celine to record it in Miami! Directed by David Foster and Ric Wake, the album features sixteen traditional and modern tracks. Among them, six pieces are original. Celine sings in english, french, spanish, latin and italian!
Adolphe Charles Adam (1856), teacher at the Music Conservatory in Paris, wrote the music on the words of the poem Cantique de Noël by M. Cappeau de Roquemaure. The english version were written by John Sullivan Dwight (1893).
“Don’t save it all for Christmas day, Celine tells in 1998, the first song I wrote… I never thought I could, because I think writing is a carreer and singing is another one. But I had a lot of melodies in my head for many years, and I kept singing that song: ‘How many people…’ and I kept singing this to my friends: ‘You know that song? How many…’ They went like that: ‘Mmm no never heard before!’ You know, I kept this song in my mind for a little while and I sang it to Rene and he said: ‘This a great song’ I said: ‘You’re sure it’s never been done’ He said ‘No no no I think it’s your song!’… Finally I kept it with me for long time and, one night, we were in New York, actually after the Divas, and we went to dinner, had a glass of wine, and Ric Wake, the producer, was there. And Rene kept saying to me ‘Celine, you should sing the song to Ric maybe he can help you to finish it!’, because I was stuck I couldn’t finish the song! I said ‘I don’t want…’ He said ‘Yeah yeah yeah!’ When I emptied the glass of wine, you didn’t have to force me, I was singing my song! What he said to me ‘You should call Ric’s answering machine’ So Ric said ‘Come home and sing your song on my answering machine and I’ll go and work on that’ I said ok so I called Ric’s phone number’s answering machine and I sang my song! And a little while after, he came back to me he said ‘Remember your song?’ I said ‘Yeah!’ He said ‘I worked on it and I finished it’ and he played to me and I couldn’t believe it! I’m very proud because this is a new world for me this is completely a new experience so I don’t know if I will ever write again this I can’t tell. I thought I was I never going to write, but it’s a new experience it’s great and I’m very happy that people help me finish a good feeling that I had with this song!” This song encourages people to give love every day, and not only on Christmas day.
Elvis Presley originally performed this song.
Be careful, the music of this Ave Maria was not written by Gounod as it is mentionned in the booklet. This music was written by Franz Schubert in 1825 for The Lady Of The Lake. The original english lyrics were by Sir Walter Scott. The latin lyrics were by an unknown author.
Celine already performed this song on David Foster’s Christmas album in 1993. Nat King Cole made famous this Christmas standard in 1946.
(Duet with Andrea Boccelli)
This is the famous lullaby by the german composer Johannes Brahms, written in 1868, taken from his Opus 49, 4th song, and played for the first time in 1869.
“It was that incredible song, Celine tells in 1999, and maybe, you know, the world changed, but the feelings didn’t change, I mean: human beings, true values and love, and sharing all that is still the most important thing, caring. So, when I heard that song, it became one of my favorite of all times, so when I was recording a Christmas album, of course I kept this song in mind and I really wanted to do it. And I’m glad I had the chance to record that song, it’s really one of my favorite, it’s very touching, it means a lot, it’s actually an incredible incredible Christmas song!”
(Duet with R. Kelly)
Jose Feliciano, who wrote the song, originally performed it.