Home for the Holidays

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Red and White Ornament on a White Christmas Tree Decorating the tree in preparation for Christmas next week (Brian J Matis/flickr)

For many opera singers the holidays are a busy time of year— too busy to make it home for Christmas. This week on Operavore we're bringing opera singers into our home for Christmas with a playlist of lullabies and carols to sooth the holiday frenzy.

Host Naomi Lewin spins modern classics like Bill Crosby's "I'll be Home for Christmas" and lesser-known songs like Ariel Ramirez's "Nacimiento," making this week's Operavore a fun holiday primer. If you're ready to get this holiday party started, scroll to the bottom and check out a "duet"version of "White Christmas" by Bryn Terfel and Bing Crosby. 

Playlist: 

Irving Berlin
“I’ll be home for Christmas.”
Bing Crosby
MCA Special Products 31143

John Francis Wade
“O Deuwch Ffyddloniaid” (“O come, all ye faithful”)
Mack Wilberg, arranger
Tecwyn Evans, conductor
Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera
Bryn Terfel, bass-baritone
Deutsche Grammophon 1491472 

Alice Charlotte Tegnér
“Betlehems Stjärna” (“Star of Bethlehem”)
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano
Bengt Forsberg, organ
Deutsche Grammophon 459685 

Gustaf Nordqvist
“Jul, jul, strålande jul” (“Christmas, radiant Christmas”)
Stockholm Sinfonietta
Sjokvist Gustaf, conductor
Peter Mattei, baritone
Ladybird Productions 79556818

Traditional Spanish carol arranged by Lee Holdridge
“La Virgen Lava Pañales” (“The virgin washes the swaddling clothes”)
Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Lee Holdridge, conductor
Placido Domingo, tenor
Sony Classical Masterworks 53725

Traditional Italian carol arranged by Giancarlo Chiaramello
“Tu scendi dalle stele” (“From starry skies descending”)
Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Gumpoldskirch Boys Choir
Steven Mercurio , conductor
Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
Sony Classical 89131

Ariel Ramirez
Navidad nuestra “El Nacimiento” (The Birth)
Mack Wilberg, arranger
Tecwyn Evans, conductor
Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera
Bryn Terfel, bass-baritone
Rolando Villazón, tenor
Deutsche Grammophon 1491472

Jakub Jan Ryba
“Jak Mile Rozkosne”
Capella Regia Musicalis
Robert Hugo, conductor
Magdalena Kožená, mezzo-soprano
Deutsche Grammophon 4778365

Traditional
“Il est né, le divin enfant”
London Symphony Orchestra
Robin Smith, conductor
Roberto Alagna, tenor
Deutsche Grammophon 718302

Traditional
“Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle”
Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Jerold Ottley, conductor
Marilyn Horne, mezzo-soprano
Sony Classical 63305

Irving Berlin
“White Christmas”
Orchestra at Temple Square
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy, conductors
Nathan Gunn, baritone
Mormon Tabernacle 5082346

Daryl Runswick
“A Little Christmas Music” (Medley à la Mozart)
King's Singers
Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano
Richard Hickox, harpsichord
EMI 49909

Hugh Martin/Ralph Blane
“Have yourself a merry little Christmas”
Thomas Pasatieri, arranger
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
Hugh Wolff, conductor
Thomas Hampson, baritone
Teldec 73135

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Comments [2]

Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

Concetta, excellent pick, some Pavarotti is also an excellent Christmas choice, Cecilia Bartoli does some very fine work on some less known Christmas music, but very beautiful, and keeps away from the elevator music so often played this time of year.
Not to take away from WQXR but SirusXM which is my go to music source down here has several excellent channels 100% devoted to Christmas music until the end of the first week in January. If you do not have it and enjoy classical venues available 24/7 it is well worth the small initial investment. Merry Christmas, God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Dec. 21 2013 01:53 PM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va.

Why not bring real live singers into real homes.
Here in Front Royal, Va. we live only 20 miles from the Shenandoah Conservatory, and less than 50 miles from George Mason University, both have world class Vocal and Instrumental Programs and Student Opera Programs.
Many families in The Shenandoah Valley's sprawling farms and large homes, invite Vocal and Instrumental students to their homes or Churches for private concerts over the holidays, giving these young performers an opportunity to perform in intimate venues for appreciative audiences.
While the size limitations of many New York City apartments prohibit these type of gatherings, I am sure there are many WQXR listeners who could enjoy engaging talented Music students from Julliard, Manhattan School of Music, etc, and let's not forget those throughout the U.S. who have the same opportunity to help young performers gain valuable experience and provide holiday enjoyment.
House concerts can be a great launching pad for these young people, we hold one on July 4th on the farm. God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Dec. 21 2013 11:05 AM

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