Christmas works

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ChrisBrewster
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Christmas works

Post by ChrisBrewster » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:36 pm

Since I brought up Christmas music, I'll list the ones that define the season for me and my wife, obvious as they may be:

- Handel, Messiah. Favorite version: Colin Davis 1966

- Berlioz, L'Enfance du Christ. Favorite: Jean Martinon. (This was once available on Nonesuch. I'm currently lobbying ArchivMusic to make this available.)

-Vaughan Williams, Hodie. Favorite: Willcocks. (Well, there's only one other, Hickox. Willcocks's version is the rare recording that really is probably "definitive".)

- Britten, Ceremony of Carols. No clear favorite.

Lots of other good Christmas music, but those are the top ones.

jbuck919
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Re: Christmas works

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:56 pm

Now you see, it's only December 8 and already you are forcing us to start our annual Christmas thread. :wink: :)

You left out the Bach Christmas Oratorio. :shock: To which I would add, it being a sentimental favorite from a performance in college, the Christmas Oratorio of Schütz.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Wallingford
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Re: Christmas works

Post by Wallingford » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:08 pm

jbuck919 wrote:Now you see, it's only December 8 and already you are forcing us to start our annual Christmas thread. :wink: :)

You left out the Bach Christmas Oratorio. :shock: To which I would add, it being a sentimental favorite from a performance in college, the Christmas Oratorio of Schütz.
It's almost all academic to me, memory-wise and budget-wise. Devastating. I have a father, a sister, a niece, and a brother-in-law with December birthdays; my parents' anniversary is in three days. Also, my youngest nephew turns 21 on New Year's Day.

To return to the main topic here, my mind conjures up:

Saint-Saens' Christmas Oratorio
Pierne's Les enfants a Bethlehem
Rutter's narrated musical fable on "In dulci jubilo," The Donkey Carol
Corelli's "Christmas" Concerto grosso, in G Minor

Also, among Kirsten Flagstad's final commercial recordings, Songs From Norway, there's an enchanting, beguiling little song by EYVIND ALNAES (1872-1932)--a song called "The Hundred Violins"....I've assembled for myself a CD comp of cozy Christmas carols sung by numerous female vocalists, pop, show and opera, and this track holds place of honor. (I don't know of any other recording of this heartrending little gem.)

Finally, I'm no fan of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale The Little Match Girl, but Danish composer August Enna wrote an exquisite one-act opera Den lille pige med svovlstikkerne. It's still available for download on ITunes, Rhapsody, etc.
Last edited by Wallingford on Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

Chalkperson
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Re: Christmas works

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:52 am

My favourite two works for December are always...

Bach - St John's Passion
Bach - St Matthews Passion

I play the Xmas Worship Music around Easter... :wink:
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Chalkperson
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Re: Christmas works

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:56 am

The Xmas album by the Anonymous Four, the Decca Ave Maria Compilation (OOP), Stile Antico's Seasonal Album and other Early Xmas Music Compilations I always take to Florida and play to our neighbors...
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val
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Re: Christmas works

Post by val » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:40 am

Don't forget Honegger: Une Cantate de Noel (in special with Camille Maurane and Jean Martinon).

maestrob
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Re: Christmas works

Post by maestrob » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:10 am

Image

I sang this twice with David Randolph in Carnegie Hall: each time was a treasured memory....it's still my favorite Christmas music.

karlhenning
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Re: Christmas works

Post by karlhenning » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:38 am

Obligatory remark: I've composed quite a passel of Christmas music, but no one here has had any occasion to hear any of it ; )

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
http://www.luxnova.com/

Ted Quanrud
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Re: Christmas works

Post by Ted Quanrud » Thu Dec 09, 2010 2:24 pm

Image

This is hands-down my favorite Christmas CD. McCreesh and company have reconstructed a Lutheran Christmas service ‘as it might have been celebrated around 1620’ and with contributions from Samuel Scheidt, Johann Hermann Schein and most notably Michael Praetorius.

I invariably include some of it in the three hours of Christmas music I program every year for broadcast between 6 and 9 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Other favorites include:

Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Christmas Carols

Tomas Luis de Victoria: O Magnum Mysterium

Handel: Messiah (Pastoral & Christmas arias and choruses)

Bach: Almost any of the Christmas cantatas and the great opening chorus of the Christmas Oratorio, "Jauchzet, frohlocket."

Plainchant: A solis ortus cardine, followed by Luther's translation: Christum wir sollen loben schon

johnQpublic
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Re: Christmas works

Post by johnQpublic » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:26 pm

Rheinberger's "The Star of Bethlehem"
Liszt's "Weinachtsbaum"
Image

Donaldopato
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Re: Christmas works

Post by Donaldopato » Fri Dec 10, 2010 5:35 pm

There is a wonderful Naxos disc with these wonderful and quite well done Christmas inspired works:

Naxos 8557099

Improvisations on Christmas Carols Bryan Kelly
Carol Symphony Victor Hely-Hutchinson
Bethlehem Down Peter Warlock
Wassail Dances Philip Lane
A Christmas Carol Symphony Patric Standford

Gavin Sutherland City of Prague SO

I enjoy it each season.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

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