For the past four years, the #ClassicsaDay team has adopted Classical Christmas as its theme for December. And why not? We have a rich body of music related to the season dating back to the Middle Ages. A good deal of it is religious, but not all — many works are simply inspired by the time of year.
12/07/20 Johann Schelle “Machet di Tore weit” (Make the gates wide)
This Advent motet was set by Schelle, who was cantor at Thomaskirche, Leipzig from 1677-1701 (a position later held by J.S. Bach).
12/08/20 Daniel Pinkham Christmas Cantata
Organist and composer Daniel Pinkham studied with the best: Walter Piston, Aaron Copland, E. Power Brigs, Samuel Barber, Arthur Honegger, and (of course) Nadia Boulanger.
12/09/20 Libby Larsen – A Simple Gloria
Larson comp[osed this work for the 30th anniversary of the University of St. Thomas Liturgical Choir, St. Paul. It was premiered at their Christmas concert that year.
12/10/20 Antonio Caldara – Christmas Cantata
Caldara kicked around Europe. He worked in Venice, Mantua, Barcelona, Rome, and Salzburg before eventually settling in Vienna.
12/11/20 Josef Rheinberger – The Star of Bethlehem
This Lichtenstein composer is best remembered for his challenging organ works. This cantata is based on a libretto by his wife and was premiered in 1890.