A FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS
From King’s College Cambridge
Sunday, December 3 from 8pm – 9:30pm
A central celebration of Christmas in England since 1918, the service has been broadcast live on the BBC since 1928. Selected readings are recited and carols – old and new – are sung in the centuries-old college chapel by the world-renowned Choir of King’s College Cambridge. The service is the essence of Christmas in England and was recorded on location by King’s College live in 2018 during the centennial celebration for this English tradition.
HANUKKAH CELEBRATION with CHICAGO’S A CAPPELLA
Thursday, December 7 from 4pm – 5pm and Thursday, December 14 from 4pm – 5pm
Join Jonathan Miller, artistic director of Chicago a cappella and a longtime champion of Jewish choral music, for an inspiring and informative show featuring choral music set to Hanukkah texts. Familiar tunes include “I Have a Little Dreidel” (both in its original Yiddish form and in a neo-funk Hebrew/English setting), a swing version of “S’vivon” by Steve Barnett, and a lively setting of the traditional melody for “Al-Hanissim” (“For the Miracles”) by Elliot Levine. All selections are performed by Chicago a cappella, the virtuoso vocal ensemble formed in 1993. Jonathan Miller provides liturgical and cultural background as part this unique look inside old and new choral Hanukkah traditions.
ITZHAK PERLMAN’S CHANUKAH RADIO PARTY
Thursday, December 7 from 5pm – 6pm and Thursday, December 14 from 5pm – 6pm
Join Itzhak Perlman the superstar violinist as he tells the story of the Jewish festival of lights. This engaging one-hour special includes numbers from Itzhak Perlman’s radio addicted childhood in Israel; evocative songs in Yiddish and Ladino; classical music that revolves around the Maccabee heroes of the story; and Hanukkah gems by American folk singers. The master storyteller also regales you with jokes and memories, plus tales of three classic Hanukkah symbols: the menorah, the latke, and, of course, the dreidel. A good time for the whole family, at Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party!
BERLIOZ: L’ENFANCE DU CHRIST (The Childhood of Christ)
Saturday, December 9 from 7pm – 8:30pm
Best known for the chorus “The Shepherds’ Farewell”, this oratorio of 1854 recounts young Jesus’ early life and the flight of his family into Egypt to escape King Herod and his minions. Present day audiences can still be taken aback at Berlioz’s gentle lyricism and simplicity in recounting this story. The performance is a classic featuring Cesare Valletti, Florence Kopleff, Gerard Souzay, Giorgio Tozzi, The New England Conservatory of Music Chorus and the Boston Symphony Orchestra led by the great Berlioz conductor, Charles Munch. It was recorded in Symphony Hall Boston on Christmas Eve Day 1956.
…AND YET ANOTHER PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE
Tuesday, December 12 at 7:20am and Friday, December 15 at 5:20pm
In this cautionary tale by Brian Sibley, find out what happens when the hapless Cynthia Bracegirdle really does receive ALL the presents of the twelve days of Christmas from a, shall we say, persistent admirer? It all goes just as the song says and that dry, British hilarity ensues in a production from the BBC featuring Penelope Keith and Timothy Bateson, directed by John Theocharis. Poor Cynthia…
Saturday, December 16 from 8pm – 10:26pm
It’s much more than just the Hallelujah Chorus as Handel’s 1742 masterpiece has become the most famous musical celebration of Christmas in the English-speaking world. Our traditional holiday broadcast this year features Kathleen Battle, Florence Quivar, John Aler and Samuel Ramey along with the Mendelssohn Club of Toronto and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
TCHAIKOVSKY’S THE NUTCRACKER (Complete Ballet)
Saturday, December 23 from 9pm – 10:26pm
Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”, an evergreen holiday favorite ever since its premiere in 1892 is broadcast complete this year and features one of the most acclaimed recordings of the score since it was issued in 1959. Ernest Ansermet – one of the all-time great ballet conductors – conducts his L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the orchestra he founded in 1918 and led for fifty years. Fully remastered, this version shines as never before and captures an old European sound and charm that has all but disappeared.
48 HOURS OF CHRISTMAS CLASSICS
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
Bring all the warmth and joy of past Christmases to life once again with the Classic107.3FM and 96.3 HD2 48 hours of commercial-free music. Enjoy masterpieces from Tchaikovsky, Bach, Handel, Britten and Menotti and welcome back old friends like Robert Shaw, Luciano Pavarotti, Harry Belafonte, the Boston Pops with Arthur Fiedler, Nat King Cole, Andrea Bocelli, Johnny Mathis, Sir Thomas Beecham and Duke Ellington.