Giada Valenti may already be well-known to anyone who’s viewed her PBS music special ‘From Venice With Love’, heard her performances with none other than the great Andrea Bocelli, 2018 and 2019 concerts at NYC’s Carnegie Hall, or the eight – count them – years straight Red Carpet performances at the Columbus Day parades in New York.
Signed to Sony BMG in 2005 as a young performer, and having released four albums to rave reviews for her beautiful, haunting voice, Valenti now releases her version of Christmas carol ‘What Child Is This?’; written, lyrically at least, by William Chatterton Dix in 1865, and set to the tune of Greensleeves following Dix’s spiritual awakening following a severe illness, ‘What Child Is This?’ is perhaps better known as a carol in the Valenti’s home of the United States than in its country of origin today, but this stunning, sublime rendition could be the moment that all changes.
Exquisitely stripped back, set to acoustic guitar and with a glorious, heavenly violin part courtesy of the incredible Volkan Canbolat, ‘What Child Is This?’ is simply utterly, utterly dazzling, Valenti’s silky, soaring vocal the icing on the (Christmas) cake of a truly alluring, elegant musical arrangement.
While the Twitterati argue over the radio edit of ‘Fairytale Of New York’ and newly reopened shops regale us all with ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ and three different versions of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’, Giada Valenti’s ‘What Child Is This?’ might just be the Christmas song that actually says ‘Christmas’. If this doesn’t get your seasonal ‘goodwill to all men’ flowing, then very little will.
Review by Alex Holmes