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.
12/21/20 Alessandro Scarlatti – Christmas Cantata
Scarlatti is credited with developing this form. Unlike most music performed in the church, the Christmas Cantata was sung in the vernacular, rather than Latin.
12/22/20 Rimsky-Korsakov – Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve was a four-act opera Rimsky-Korsakov finished in 1895. In 1904 he created an orchestral suite from the opera’s music.
12/23/20 Adolphus Hailstork – Christmas Everywhere
“Everywhere, Everywhere Christmas Tonight!” was written by Rev. Phillps Brooks in the 1880s. Hailstork set the poem in 1993.
12/24/20 John Knowles Paine – Christmas Gift, Op. 7
Paine composed this piano work in 1862. It’s one of his earliest published works, written when he was 23.
12/25/20 Margaret Bonds – Ballad of the Brown King
Langston Hughes wrote the libretto for this 1954 cantata. It uses Balthazar to “reinforce the image of African participation in the Nativity story.”