Christmas Eve (1912) is a symphonic poem by British composer Arnold Bax, which he composed while staying at Glean na Smól in County Dublin in Ireland. The work was originally premiered in 1913 as “Christmas Eve on the Mountains”, but the composer revised the work and abridged the title twenty years later. In the opening passage he had “tried to suggest the sharp light of frosty stars and an ecstasy of peace falling for one night of the year upon the troubled Irish hills.”
The story of John Rutter’s Brother Heinrich’s Christmas is built around the legend that the carol In dulci jubilo was first sung by angels who miraculously appeared to the medieval monk Heinrich Suso one Christmas Eve. Brother Heinrich is helped in the story by a donkey named Sigismond.
Frederick Delius’s Sleigh Ride was written in 1899 and originally titled “Winter Night.” It has also been referred to as “Norwegian Sleigh Ride.”
A Boy Was Born, Op. 3, is a choral composition by Benjamin Britten. Written as a set of six choral variations, It was written when Britten was only in his second term at the Royal College of Music. Variation five is a setting of In the Bleak Mid-Winter and the sixth and final variation is a setting of the carol Noel!
We’ll feature these holiday-themed works on An English Pastorale, Sunday at 9 am.
Michael Tunnell, a local musician and good friend of Classical 90.5 passed away this morning after a battle with cancer. Throughout his career, Tunnell recorded several albums, usually with other Louisville musicians and composers. He taught at the University of Louisville and was awarded the title of Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music and Scholar.
Michael Tunnell performed several times for Classical 90.5’s Lunchtime Classics, most recently with his trumpet studio and friends in Kentucky Baroque Trumpets, as well as with his wife Meme.
From his performance in October:
From a 2002 performance of Michael and Meme Tunnell on Lunchtime Classics:
The group Trio Mediaeval consists of three women who met and combined their vocal forces in Oslo, Norway. The trio has released an album called Aquilonis which features some music for the Advent season. The album’s repertoire travels from Iceland to Italy, from 12th-century Italian sacred pieces to modern works written especially for the trio’s unique vocal qualities.
Classical 90.5 is featuring Aquilonis as well as other new releases during this holiday season. Enjoy this selection from an earlier recording by Trio Mediaeval: