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.
12/14/20 Giovanni Gabrieli – O Magnum Mysterium
Gabrieli used the space at St. Mark’s like an instrument. His compositions for multiple choirs took into account the echos and delays of the sound, and how it could enhance the music. This work features two choirs of unequal size, adding dynamics to the mix.
12/15/20 Max Reger – Weihnachten
Reger originally wrote his Sieben Stücke for organ in 1915-16. Each song used Lutheran hymn tunes, including the third one, Weihnachten (Christmas Day).
12/16/20 Giovanni Sammartini – Christmas Concerto
The Concerto Grosso in G minor Op. 5, No. 6 was originally composed for performance during Christmas Eve services. As is common for this sub-genre, it’s quieter and more contemplative than a secular concerto grosso.
12/17/20 Antonio Vivaldi – Christmas Concerto “Il riposo-per il Santissimo Natale”
Corelli established the sub-genre of Christmas concertos with a multi-movement work. Vivaldi’s concerto follows the contemplative nature of the form, but only has three movements.
12/18/20 Pietro Locatelli – Christmas Concerto
Locatelli followed Corelli’s model for Christmas Eve instrumental music. His concerto grosso comprises of several movements, most calming and contemplative.