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 first week of #ClassicalChristmas.
Georg Philipp Telemann – Cantata – Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, TWV 1:1174
Composed for the first week of Advent, 1717.
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – Christmas Overture
Originally this overture was part of some incidental music to a children’s play, “The Forest of Wild Tyme.” It was extracted, orchestrated, and — with its many quoted carols — become a holiday favorite for orchestras.
William Billings – Judea – A virgin unspotted
Billings was the first major American choral composer. Though self-taught, his choral collections were popular, and his music was in widespread use during the Colonial and Federal Periods. Judua was first published in his “Singing Master’s Assistant” of 1778.
Frederick Delius – Sleigh Ride
This work was completed in 1899, and is sometimes known by its original title, “Winter’s Night.”
Arthur Sullivan – All this night bright angels sung
Sullivan was best known as the musical part of “Gilbert and Sullivan.” He also composed many other types of music, included a small number of Christmas carols. “All this night” was first published in 1916.