4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Even the Jewish atonal master Arnold Schoenberg wrote Yuletide music

The Christmas rabbit hole

From the Carol Symphony
From the Carol Symphony

‘Tis the season for Christmas music. We all know the Christmas warhorses such as Georg Handel’s The Messiah, J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and Pytor Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Maybe some of us are also familiar with music that is winter-themed, such as Antonio Vivaldi’s “Winter” from The Four Seasons and Sergei Prokofiev’s “Troika” from his Lieutenant Kijé Suite.

Video:

Prokofiev: Lieutenant Kijé, Symphonic Suite

Op. 60 - IV. Troïka

Op. 60 - IV. Troïka

Further down the list of classical Christmas music are rarely sung masterpieces such as Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, Camille Saint-Saëns’s Oratorio de Noël, Hector Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ, and Hodie by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Video:

Vaughn Williams – Hodie

A Christmas Cantata: VI. Narration: And there were in the same country

A Christmas Cantata: VI. Narration: And there were in the same country

I’d say that anyone who has listened to Saint-Saëns’s Oratorio de Noël has started down the classical Christmas rabbit hole. Now, let’s go a bit further down. A Symphony of Carols by Victor Hely-Hutchinson might be the most idiomatic English Christmas music of all time. Written in 1927, this symphony includes traditional English Carols such as “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen,” “The Coventry Carol,” “The First Nowell,” and “Here We Come A-wassailing.” If you like Christmas music the way I like Christmas music, which is to say with the fervor of a soul freshly converted to a new sect, then this is a must-listen for your personal Christmas extravaganza.

Video:

Carol Symphony (complete)

Victor Hely-Hutchinson (1901-1947)

Victor Hely-Hutchinson (1901-1947)

Video:

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - The Seasons

Op 37a, December Christmas – orchestra Richard Bonyng

Op 37a, December Christmas – orchestra Richard Bonyng

Video:

Edward Elgar - "A Christmas Greeting"

Op. 52

Op. 52

Video:

Arnold Schoenberg's Christmas Music

Arrangement for chamber ensemble of "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen" by Michael Praetorius.

Arrangement for chamber ensemble of "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen" by Michael Praetorius.

Tchaikovsky wrote a piece for piano based on the seasons. Each piece represents a month of the year. For the December section, he composed a short waltz with the subtitle “Christmas.” It has since become known as “The Christmas Waltz. It’s not The Nutcracker, but it is charming in this orchestrated version.

Edward Elgar is not a name we associate with Christmas music, but his “A Christmas Greeting” is an exquisite holiday chestnut. The text of the song was written by Elgar’s wife Caroline Alice Elgar. For those of us living our lives outside of the Edwardian Age, that text may be difficult to digest. She dedicates two stanzas to Rome, mentioning Pifferari and the Old Tiber. The references could have been due to Elgar’s Roman Catholicism. But the song is delicate and quite English in its tone and texture.

I cannot think of a less likely fan of Christmas music than Arnold Schoenberg, but the fact of the matter is that the atonal Jewish master was dedicated to Christmas music. How dedicated? He wrote a lovely and tonal version of Praetorius’s “Es ist ein Ros’ Entsprugen” which weaves in “Stille Nacht” as a counter melody. Christmas miracles never cease to amaze.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Donutopolis and the three-tier donut birthday cake

Poway and Mira mesa shops also offer bagels, sandwiches, and donut toppings galore
Next Article

Fat Fast Leonard

Mastermind behind Navy bribery scandal pulls a fast one, escapes from house arrest just before sentencing
From the Carol Symphony
From the Carol Symphony

‘Tis the season for Christmas music. We all know the Christmas warhorses such as Georg Handel’s The Messiah, J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and Pytor Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Maybe some of us are also familiar with music that is winter-themed, such as Antonio Vivaldi’s “Winter” from The Four Seasons and Sergei Prokofiev’s “Troika” from his Lieutenant Kijé Suite.

Video:

Prokofiev: Lieutenant Kijé, Symphonic Suite

Op. 60 - IV. Troïka

Op. 60 - IV. Troïka

Further down the list of classical Christmas music are rarely sung masterpieces such as Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, Camille Saint-Saëns’s Oratorio de Noël, Hector Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ, and Hodie by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Video:

Vaughn Williams – Hodie

A Christmas Cantata: VI. Narration: And there were in the same country

A Christmas Cantata: VI. Narration: And there were in the same country

I’d say that anyone who has listened to Saint-Saëns’s Oratorio de Noël has started down the classical Christmas rabbit hole. Now, let’s go a bit further down. A Symphony of Carols by Victor Hely-Hutchinson might be the most idiomatic English Christmas music of all time. Written in 1927, this symphony includes traditional English Carols such as “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen,” “The Coventry Carol,” “The First Nowell,” and “Here We Come A-wassailing.” If you like Christmas music the way I like Christmas music, which is to say with the fervor of a soul freshly converted to a new sect, then this is a must-listen for your personal Christmas extravaganza.

Video:

Carol Symphony (complete)

Victor Hely-Hutchinson (1901-1947)

Victor Hely-Hutchinson (1901-1947)

Video:

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - The Seasons

Op 37a, December Christmas – orchestra Richard Bonyng

Op 37a, December Christmas – orchestra Richard Bonyng

Video:

Edward Elgar - "A Christmas Greeting"

Op. 52

Op. 52

Video:

Arnold Schoenberg's Christmas Music

Arrangement for chamber ensemble of "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen" by Michael Praetorius.

Arrangement for chamber ensemble of "Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen" by Michael Praetorius.

Tchaikovsky wrote a piece for piano based on the seasons. Each piece represents a month of the year. For the December section, he composed a short waltz with the subtitle “Christmas.” It has since become known as “The Christmas Waltz. It’s not The Nutcracker, but it is charming in this orchestrated version.

Edward Elgar is not a name we associate with Christmas music, but his “A Christmas Greeting” is an exquisite holiday chestnut. The text of the song was written by Elgar’s wife Caroline Alice Elgar. For those of us living our lives outside of the Edwardian Age, that text may be difficult to digest. She dedicates two stanzas to Rome, mentioning Pifferari and the Old Tiber. The references could have been due to Elgar’s Roman Catholicism. But the song is delicate and quite English in its tone and texture.

I cannot think of a less likely fan of Christmas music than Arnold Schoenberg, but the fact of the matter is that the atonal Jewish master was dedicated to Christmas music. How dedicated? He wrote a lovely and tonal version of Praetorius’s “Es ist ein Ros’ Entsprugen” which weaves in “Stille Nacht” as a counter melody. Christmas miracles never cease to amaze.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Endless Summer Opening Reception, La Mesa Oktoberfest, Scorpions and Whitesnake

Events September 29-October 1, 2022
Next Article

BVM BBQ Grill Pizzeria: beef brisket in a Charles Dickens factory scene

This eatery has been set up in what was once a post office for the Encanto region
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close