Remarkably, Majesty and Wonder is Phil Keaggy's first Christmas-themed album in a career that spans 30-odd years. This instrumental collection fully embodies the mystical marvel and joyful solemnity of Christmas and the light it casts on the dark season in which it falls. Original pieces inspired by early-20th-century English classical composer Ralph Vaughn-Williams blend seamlessly with sacred traditionals such as Bach's much loved "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." A masterful finger picker, Keaggy plucks lines on guitar, mandolin, and bass that are fluid and graceful. Their texture is accentuated and emboldened by the stately sounds of the London Festival Orchestra, who contribute horns, woodwinds, and strings. Harp adds a heavenly touch, hand bells ring out with simple clarity and Irish flute soars on the upper end. Vocal enhancement is wisely and stunningly limited to elegant harmonies courtesy of Michelle Tumes. Majesty and Wonder speaks to the innocence of awe and unquestioning belief in miracles. –Paige La Grone
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