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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Christmas Classics

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Related thread: Classical Christmas Music

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It has begun - in almost every radio market, there is an easy-listening station that has become "nothing but Christmas Music", 24/7. You know what they say about everything, but in moderation...

A recent thread on our forum asked for some classical music selections that are appropriate for the season, but are not Christmas carols. As usual, TC-ers anwered with some very worthwhile selections - some of which are found here - but others are my own favourites.

I have more Holiday music posts in mind, but I reserve those for closer to the Holidays, and there will be more on that in due course.

A few words about some of these selections:

Leroy Anderson's Christmas Festival and Benjamin Britten's Men of Goodwill are as close as we will come to traditional carols. The works by Corelli, Charpentier and Handel are baroque favourites that are part of the seasonal repertoire.

The Nutcracker Suite as performed by Stokowski for Fantasia doesn't provide all the selectoons - the miniature overture and march are missing, which explains their addition to the playlist under a different conductor and orchestra. Rimsky's Christmas Eve is given a great vintage performance by Nikolai Golovanov.

Leopold Mozart's Toy SYmphony is one of the few Papa Mozart works that get performed, and it is full of cuteness and surprises... Prokofiev's Troika from Lieutenant Kije is another piece that gets airplay this time of year.

Please enjoy!


Leroy ANDERSON (1908-1975)
A Christmas Festival (1952)
Leroy Anderson and his "Pops" Orchestra

Pyotr Ilich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Shchelkunchik (The Nutcraker), Suite for orchestra, op. 71a
Robert Sharples leads the London Festival Orchestra (Overture and March)
Leopold Stokowski leads the Philadelphia Orchestra (Dances)

Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713)
Concerto Grosso in G Minor, Op.6, No.8 ('Christmas Concerto')
Jean Francois Paillard leads his Chamber Orchestra

Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (ca. 1636-1704)
Salve puerule from In nativitatem Domini canticum, Christmas motet for soprano, countertenor, tenor, bass, 2 flutes, 2 violins and continuo, H.314
Taverner Consort and Players under Andrew Parrot

Leopold MOZART (1719-1787)
Cassation for toys, 2 oboes, 2 horns & strings in G Major (Toy Symphony) (ca. 1959)
Uncredited orchestra and conductor

Victor HERBERT (1859-1924)
March of the Toys from Babes in Toyland (1903)
St-Louis Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin

Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Troika from Lieutenant Kijé, Op.60
Uncredited orchestra and conductor

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Men of Goodwill, variations on a carol (1947)
Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner

Nikolay RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Overture to Noch' pered Rozhdestvom (Christmas Eve) (1895)
Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra under Nikolai Golovanov

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Selections from Messiah, HWV56
Sir Adrian Boult leads the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Pastoral Symphony)
Sir Thomas Beecham leads the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Chorus and soloists (Three excerpts)
Mormon Tabernacle Choir with uncredited accompaniment (Alleluia)

Your Playlist:

December 16, 2011, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will be adding a new montage "Ice and Snow" to its Pod-O-Matic Podcast. Read our English and French commentary December 16th on the ITYWLTMT Blogspot blog.

Updated Dec-14-2011 at 13:35 by itywltmt

Classical Music , Recorded Music