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 last full week of #ClassicalChristmas, plus the last day of December.
Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690-1749) Christmas Oratorio: Ach, dass die Hülfe aus Zion über Israel käme.
Like Bach, Stölzel wrote an oratorio that was a set of six cantatas. Each cantata corresponded to one of the feast days of Christmas. “Ach, dass die Hülfe” is for the first day of Christmas, 1720.
Kevin Oldham – Silent Night
A beautiful reimagining of this familiar carol.
Louis-Claude Daquin: Noel X
Daquin was a virtuoso organ and harpsichord player. In 1757 he published Nouveau livre de noëls, a collection of 12 traditional French carols with new settings.
Max Reger – Weihnachten, Op. 145 No. 3
“Weihnachten” was originally part of a set of seven organ pieces in 1915. In its orchestrated form, the work has become a mainstay for holiday orchestra concerts.
Joan Szymko – The Peace of Wild Things
I first heard this work on the album Raunächte – The Twelve Nights after Christmas. I love it.
PDQ Bach – Good King Kong Looked Out
“Good King Kong” was part of PDQ’s “Consort of Choral Christmas Carols.” Why end the year with a PDQ Bach selection? Because he never fails to disappoint.