This CD is a thing of delicate beauty. There are no synth-laden pop riffs or 'guest vocalists'...if you're looking for anything like The Police or the typical Sting offerings of his solo career, you'll be disappointed.
If you've heard "Songs From the Labyrinth" you'll have a better idea what to expect from "If On A Winters Night". Sting, in his maturity, seems lately to have been drawn to ancient music: consider also that this recording, like "Labyrinth", was released on Deutsche Grammaphon, a classical label.
The music itself is flawless. It has a keen sound quality - particularly on the pieces with stripped-down instrumentation - and the arrangements are careful.
If you are interested at all in Sting as a person, the liner notes will prove invaluable. There are six closely-printed pages written by Sting: musings on his agnosticism, his childhood memories of winter, the seasonal cycle as it affects humans. It's interesting and introspective.
I would classify this CD not as "Christmas", as I've seen it described, but as "solstice". It reminds me a little of the New Age/Pagan CDs that comprise my favourite winter listening.
I love this CD. It is full of lovely winter songs, beautifully interpreted by a first-class musician.