#ClassicsaDay #ClassicalHoliday Week 3 2023
A holiday tradition (of sorts) returns! Since 2017, the #ClassicsaDay team has made holiday music the December theme. The music shared doesn’t necessarily have to be related to Christmas. It can be any classical work associated with either the sacred or secular activities of December (or even just weather).
The challenge is to post video performances of the works that fit the theme in your social media channels. As always, I tried to share selections I haven’t used before. Here are my picks for the third week of #ClassicalHoliday.
12/16/23 William Billings: Creation
In his day, Billings was one of the most celebrated American composers. He exclusively wrote for amateur church choirs. He wrote hymns for all parts of the church calendar, including Advent and Christmas.
12/17/23 Gerald Finzi: In Tera Pax, Christmas Scene, Op. 39
Finzi composed this work in 1954. In the 1920s he had climbed to the top of a hill and heard the midnight bells ringing out Christmas morning. That memory would form the basis of the work.
12/18/23 Bob Chilcott: Christmas Oratorio
Chilcott was a member of the King’s Singers from 1985-1997. He arranged music for the ensemble. After leaving the group, he became a successful choral composer. His Christmas Oratorio was commissioned by the Three Choirs Festival in 2019.
12/19/23 Carl Hienrich Graun: Christmas Oratorio
Graun had a pretty steady gig as Kapellmeister to Frederick the Great. He held the post for 19 years, providing the court with music for both secular and sacred occasions — like this Christmas Oratorio.
12/20/23 Marc-Antoine Charpentier: Les antiennes O d’Avent
Charpentier was the music master for the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, beginning in 1698. He was also often commissioned to compose music for court events — and high church days — like this setting of Advent antiphons.
12/21/23 Arthur Honegger: Christmas Cantata
Honegger completed his cantata in 1953. It would be his final work. Although he died two years later, a protracted illness prevented Honegger from composing.
12/22/23 Daniel Pinkham: O come, Emmanuel (Variations on an Advent Hymn)
Pinkhams was a composer and organist of the first rank. Although he wrote in all genres, a large part of his catalog was sacred music, most of it using the organ.