Classical Music & Christmas

“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” – J.S.Bach

Classical & Christmas Music

It’s the most musical, mystical, marvelous time of year.

Whereas traditionally it has been a ‘field -day” for criminals, Christmas is also the most joyous, peaceful time of the year.

The Truce – Christmas Day 1914

– Yes, even enemies call a truce and celebrate, as happened during world war 1, Christmas day, 1914.

Then, in the midst of the war, British, German and French soldiers put down their weapons and took up carol singing and exchanged whatever gifts they had among themselves.

Yet, it’s all due to  God’s most extravagant gift to mankind — Emmanuel, God is with us. 

And what better way to express gratitude for God’s greatest gift than with music – in particular – Christmas and classical music.

Whether at a party, concert or church service, classical music and Christmas are like a sumptuous meal – with the main course and dessert. So, indulge the appetite for this mellifluous music which is sure to satiate the soul.

But what is Classical Music?

Classical music, according to Wikipedia, is “music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western music, including both religious and secular music..”
And what is Christmas Music?
Christmas music, according to Wikipedia, ” has its roots in 4th Century, Rome. It encompasses a variety of genres of music, usually performed during the Christmas season.”

Classical music and The Christmas Connection

Is there any connection between classical and Christmas music?  

Classical Composers Who Wrote Christmas Music

J.S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750

Among his other composition, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio has become one of his all-time favorites. From the birth of Jesus to the journey of the Magi, this six-part oratorio is intended for performance in a church setting during the Christmas period.

Another crowd-pleaser at this time of year is J.S.Bach’s the “Magnificat ”  – “Mary’s song of praise (Luke 1:46 – 55) which is also incorporated into the liturgical services of the Catholic church. For the Christmas performance, Bach has inserted four hymns and this piece has become one of Bach’s most popular works.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893) was a Russian composer whose classical repertoire achieved acclaim. Honored by Emporer Alexander 111, his “Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” is a favorite at Christmas time.

Waltz Of the Nutcracker, by Tchaikovsky, is a special treat at this time of year.  Originally a two-act ballet, it’s premiere performance in St. Petersburg was unsuccessful. Now performed by numerous Ballet companies, the complete Nutcracker has enjoyed tremendous success, primarily during the Christmas season in North America.

Who among us is not familiar with the famous Handel’s Messiah?

Composed in 1741 by George Frederick Handel, (1685 – 1751) who  has been described as a “dramatic genius of the first order.”

          Salvation Army Band At Christmastime

Sung or performed especially at Christmas time, from the announcement to the shepherds to the glorification of Christ, Handel’s Messiah is all all-time favorite and awe-inspiring treat.

Another extremely popular piece is Christmas Concerto, by Arcangelo Corelli, but perhaps the all-time most popular carol is Joy To The  World, by Isaac Watts.

Alternative Classical Christmas Music

When we think of Christmas, what comes to mind first – apart from parties and presents?

Carols and choirs, right?

Well, whatever your taste, there’s a plethora of delightful Christmas and classical music being served up anywhere you go.

So, why not unwrap your presents to some of the most inspiring music on the planet. Better yet, why not give the gift that is sure to either bring a smile to your face, put a pep in your step, or occasionally, a tear to the eye.

Either way, your lives will be enriched.

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Sources: Wikipedia, Wikipedia, Pixabay.

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