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Tune in to Classic 107 starting at 6 PM Christmas Eve and right through to the end of Boxing Day for nothing but beautiful Christmas music. From your favourite Christmas Carols to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and Handel's Messiah.  Find the complete schedule below!

Christmas Eve:

7:00 PM - Claudia Garcia de la Huerta presents The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols -- the annual Christmas Eve service held in King's College Chapel. The Festival was introduced in 1918 toNine Lessons and Carols Choir of Kings College Cambridge bring a more imaginative approach to worship. It was first broadcast in 1928 and is now broadcast to millions of people around the world.

The service includes carols and readings from the Bible. The opening carol is always 'Once in Royal David's City', and there is always a new, specially commissioned carol.

There aren't a lot of recordings of this wonderful service, but  we have one that came out in 20012 on Warner Classcs. It incorporates some of the commissioned carols plus the beloved staples of the service. 

 

 

9:00 PM  - Perfect for a Christmas Eve cocktail party, or just wrapping those last minute gifts! Jazz infused Christmas carols come your way through bing frank 02to midnight. Don't forget to leave Santa a midnight snack!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Day:

Tafelmusik Handel Messiah front9:00 AM - Merry Christmas everyone! Classic 107's Simeon Rusnak starts the day with Handel's Messiah. A musical rite of the holiday season, the Baroque-era oratorio still awes listeners almost 260 years after the composer’s death.  The Smithsonian's Jonathan Kandell writes :George Frideric Handel’s Messiah was originally an Easter offering. It burst onto the stage of Musick Hall in Dublin on April 13, 1742. The audience swelled to a record 700, as ladies had heeded pleas by management to wear dresses “without Hoops” in order to make “Room for more company.” Handel’s superstar status was not the only draw; many also came to glimpse the contralto, Susannah Cibber, then embroiled in a scandalous divorce. The men and women in attendance sat mesmerized from the moment the tenor followed the mournful string overture with his piercing opening line: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” Soloists alternated with wave upon wave of chorus, until, near the midway point, Cibber intoned: “He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” So moved was the Rev. Patrick Delany that he leapt to his feet and cried out: “Woman, for this be all thy sins forgiven thee!” 
Classic 107 presents a wonderful Canadian recording by Tafflemusik with Ivars Taurins conducting.

 

4:00 PM -  We travel to back to St. Mark's and the first Mass of Christmas as it might have been celebrated in Venice 

AVenetianChristmasaround the year 1600 with host Chris Wolf and A Venetian Christmas.  Featuring the works of Giovanni Gabrieli and Cipriano de Rore. Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort and Players treat us to this performance.

 

7:00 PM - We begin the evening with German composer Heinrich Schütz and his Christmas Story Mass. Sunday Afternoon Classics host Paul von Wichert presents this work. Like Vaughan Williams' who wrote his Christmas Cantata, Hodie when he was almost 82, Schütz was also getting on in years when he wrote this work at the age of 75. Although this was by no means his last workl. Not by a long shot! The work was intended to be performed during a service instead of the Gospel reading.

Schutz Christmas

From the opening Sinfonia with chorus, set to an Italian melody (which Schütz had long ago learned to adapt to German text), the work breathes good will and joyousness, which is only intensified by the few darker elements of the narrative. The main storyteller is the narrator, the Evangelist, who sings in accompanied recitative. 

For this performance, we welcome back Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort & Players.

 

9:00 PM - More great Christmas jazz to take you through to midnight to end Christmas Day 2017. Time to sit back, relax Ella Christmastake in the magic of the holidays with ol' blue eyes, Ella and more!

 

 

 

 

 

Boxing Day:

 

SaintSaensOratorioDeNoel10:00 AM -  The Morning Blend's Ashley Rees is in the studio with you to present Camille Saint-Saëns' Oratorio de Noël. Saint-Saëns was one of the most productive and famous French composers of the ninteenth century. Not only was he a highly gifted musician (a piano prodigy, organist and composer) he was also a scholar in the areas of science (astronomy and archaeology) and mathematics. On top of all of this, he was also a man of Letters. After studying the French classics (he once edited the complete works of Rousseau), he was also proficient in Latin. It may be his love of this language that inspired him to write his Oratorio de Noël in Latin.

Writen in 1858 at the age of 23, this piece was originally scored for five vocal soloists, chorus, harp, string quartet and organ. Berlioz uses music, both instrumental and vocal, to highlight various aspects of the Christmas story. The Oratorio opens with a Prelude subtitled "In the style of Sebastian Bach" harkening back to Bach's Christmas Oratorio. This opening prelude sets the scene for the Christmas story.

 

 

 2:00 PM - Michael Wolch presents Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet. Whether you're still in your PJ's or braving the malls, turn up the radio and settle in to hear the entire ballet performed by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.  

c6 nutcracker4 jpgThe first performance of The Nutcracker took place in Russia in December 1892. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky adapted the ballet from a story called “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” by German author E.T.A. Hoffmann. Marius Petipa and his assistant Lev Ivanov created the choreography. Surprisingly, the first performance of the ballet was not deemed a success, and 25 years passed before anyone outside of Russia performed it.

Nutcracker has enjoyed enormous popularity since the late 1960s and is now performed by countless ballet companies during the Christmas season. Have you got your tickets to see the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's production of Nutcracker? It resumes performances today through to Saturday December 29th.

In the meantime, sit back and enjoy Tchaikovsky's most popular score complete with Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the dreaded Mouse King!

 

 

5:00 PM -  Classic 107 host Simeon Rusnak is up next with Vaughan Williams' Christmas Cantata, Hodie. Nearly 82 when he completed this cantata, All Music's Robert Cummings writes . . . a mixture of the Hodiesacred and secular, of the medieval and modern, of the austere and the sweet. Part of the reason for the hodgepodge nature of the work relates to the composer's use of both sacred and secular texts, something he had earlier done in Dona Nobis Pacem (1936), where he juxtaposed Scripture with the poetry of Walt Whitman. Here, Vaughan Williams mixes Scripture with the texts of a number of writers, including Milton, Hardy, and his daughter, Ursula Vaughan Williams.

Hodie (This Day) consists of 16 sections and calls for soprano, tenor, and baritone soloists, boys' voices, chorus, organ, and orchestra. The Prologue, using text from Christmas Day Vespers, is celebratory in mood. The next section, "Narration," employs text from Matthew 1:18-21 and Luke 1:32 to describe the birth of Jesus. The next sections, "Narration" and "Choral," again juxtapose Scripture (Luke 2:1-7) with secular texts (Miles Coverdale, after Martin Luther). "The Oxen" follows, using text by Thomas Hardy and so on. 

 

Christmas Mass 500x4947:00 PM -  Our last featured work of the Christmas holidays goes to Dinner Classics host Terry Klippenstein and a presentation of the Praetorious Christmas Mass. Like a Venetian Chhristmas, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort & Players reconstruct a Lutheran Christmas service as it might have been heard in the early 17th century. Although it features the work of Samuel Scheidt and Johann Hermann Schein, the recording focusses on Praetorius (born Michael Schulze), the most prolific creator of much of the Lutheran church music heard in Northern Germany at the time.

 

 We hope you enjoy our holiday line up. We've certainly had a great time putting it together!

From all of us here at Classic 107, we wish you a very merry Christmas full of beautiful music!

Thank you for making us a part of your special festivities.