Classical masterpieces never go out of fashion.
Christmas is only a few days away,
so we gathered up music for seasonal play.
The presents are bought and the wrapping is done,
while Tiny Tim prays “God bless us, everyone.”
As the kids fall asleep and dream of the day,
rest by the fire before hitting the hay.
Pour your hot cocoa with peppermint twist,
and enjoy Aleteia’s Christmas Eve playlist!
Christmas Oratorio – Bach
Bach’s Christmas Oratorio was written for the 1734 Christmas season. The work is split into 6 sections, each following a different event of the Nativity: the birth of Jesus, the annunciation to the shepherds, the adoration of the shepherds, the circumcision and naming of Jesus, the journey of the Magi, and the adoration of the Magi.
Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming – London Symphony Orchestra
“Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming” is a German Christmas carol and Marian hymn from the 17th century. This gentle arrangement by the London Symphony orchestra is a perfect lullaby for excited tiny tots, with their eyes all aglow, who find it hard to sleep on Christmas Eve.
Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy – Tchaikovsky
Possibly the most famous piece from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, 1892. Tchaikovsky wanted to produce a sound like “drops of water shooting from a fountain” and turned to the celesta, which provided the signature bells of the “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.” Tchaikovsky described the celesta as “midway between a tiny piano and a Glockenspiel, with a divinely wonderful sound.”
German Dance no 3: “Sleigh Ride” – Mozart
The last of a 3-piece dance set written by Mozart in 1791. The repeating circular motive, as well as the dynamics, rise and fall as a sleigh would over snow.
Christmas Tree – Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt was one of the greatest pianists of all time. A star of the 19th century, women would often faint before his incredible technique during performances. This piece, however impressive, does not carry his usual virtuosity, and is described as more closely related to Debussy’s style.
The Shepherds’ Farewell – Hector Berlioz
Part of Berlioz’s oratorio “L’enfance du Christ,” Shepherd’s Farewell describes the scene of the shepherds who had gathered for the Nativity leaving the Holy Family to return to their herds. The voices remain gentle before the newborn Lord.