The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Ear wishes you a Merry Christmas with three of his favorite pieces of music. What are yours? | December 25, 2019

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By Jacob Stockinger

Today – Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019 – is Christmas Day.

There is so much great Christmas music written by so many great composers. You’ll hear a lot of it tomorrow morning on Wisconsin Public Radio, starting at 9 a.m..

But here are three of The Ear’s favorites.

One comes from the “Christmas Oratorio” by the German Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach and is loud, upbeat and brassy.

The second is “Lo, how a rose ere blooming” is by the early German baroque composer Michael Praetorius, and is so hauntingly quiet and intimate, sounding almost medieval or chant-like.

The third work, also intimate but on a much larger scale, is the “Shepherds’ Farewell to the Holy Family” from “The Childhood of the Christ” by the Romantic French composer Hector Berlioz.

Here they are, first the Praetorius — in the original German — and then the Bach and finally the Berlioz.

And here is a YouTube compilation with almost three hours of seasonal music:

What is your favorite piece of classical music to celebrate Christmas?

Leave your answer – with a YouTube link, if possible — in the Comment section.


3 Comments »

  1. Yes to your choices, esp the Michael Praetorius! Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Mary Gordon — December 25, 2019 @ 10:23 am

  2. Jake, This is a Fan letter, a Thank You letter, for every time I open your blog to learn about our local arts world. Thank you for all the years I haven’t said thank. You are invaluable, a treasure, and we are all in your debt. Wishing you good health and all the best in the New Year. Linda

    Comment by Linda Clauder — December 25, 2019 @ 8:44 am

    • Linda,
      Thank you for the holiday gift of your kind words.
      I return your wishes for 2020.
      Cheers to the New Year and to music!
      Jake

      Comment by welltemperedear — December 25, 2019 @ 11:14 am


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