This is the second year the #ClassicsaDay team went with a Classical Christmas theme. And that’s fine. If you think about it, composers have been writing works for the season as long as there’s been notation to preserve them.
For my contributions, I tried to avoid the obvious choices. In the process, I discovered some wonderful works that I’ll be returning to again and again.
Here are my posts for the third week of #ClassicalChristmas
Giovanni Gabrieli – Magnificat a 14
Gabrieli was principal organist and composer for St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. His setting of the Magnificat was written with the acoustics of the basilica in mind.
Michael Torke – Winter’s Tale for Cello and Orchestra
According to Torkie, his 2014 work “Winter’s Tale” isn’t based on Shakespeare’s play. Rather, it’s an expression of the mood winter evokes.
Christoph Graupner – Cantata – Wer da glaubet dass Jesus sei der Christ, GWV 1103/40
A cantata for the 3rd week of Advent. Graupner was the second choice for the Thomaskirche Leipzig music director’s position. Telemann was the first. Leipzig settled for J.S. Bach when Graupner turned it down.
Thomas Tallis – Missa Puer Natus in Bethlehem
Tallis’ mass was premiered Christmas, 1554. The text (a child is born in Bethlehem) was chosen to obliquely celebrate the pregnancy of Queen Mary I (which turned out not to be).
Charles Ives – Christmas Carol
Ives wrote this carol in 1894 before he began his studies with Horatio Parker (and gained a reputation as a musical rebel).