For over 40 years Revels has been presenting a Christmas program. These shows blend folk tales, songs, and dance in a celebration of a bygone time. And each year the program has a different theme. The 2017 theme is a Venetian Christmas Revels. And as always, the creative team’s scholarship is first-rate.

This isn’t just a program of Claudio Monteverdi and Giovanni Gabrieli. Those Venetian composers are represented, but so are many others. Venice has always been a port of call for many Mediterranean cultures. And in some cases, those cultures took root in the city.

Tutta Bella presents seasonal music that might have been heard wandering the streets of Venice. There’s a selection by Salamon Rossi, a Venetian Jewish composer. There’s music from Corsica, Croatia, Sardinia, and Turkey. You’ll hear Sephardic chant and lively Spanish tunes.

The Christmas Revels shows remain popular for a good reason — they’re entertaining. And so is this release. Many of the tracks seem to brim with joy and energy. And really — isn’t that how we want to feel in December?

If you can’t make it to a Revels show, Tutta Bella is a good consolation prize.

Tutta Bella!
A Venetian Christmas Revels
The Revels Chorus; The Revels Children; Cambridge Symphonic Brass Ensemble
Revels CD 2017