CUC Music: Sun Dec 21

This Sunday’s musical selections feature solo piano works, which capture traditional Christmas songs from different cultures. Spanish composer Joaquín Turina sprinkles the score of his Navidad: Milagro en dos cuadros, Op. 16 (Christmas: A Miracle in Two Pictures) with the following programmatic notes:
“A very narrow street onto which the doors of the Cathedral open. It is snowing heavily. A popular carol is heard. A group of drunkards enters, crossing the scene in song; in their midst walks a little child who falls to the ground. The heavenly retinue appears. The song of the drunkards is heard from afar. An angel stumbles upon the child; the group pauses. The child sits up and beholds the Virgin extending Her arms. He rubs his eyes….he beholds the Child Jesus. He arises as if in a trance. Two angels take the child and bring him with the heavenly retinue. The scene grows totally dark. The celestial choir appears, full of poor people and beggars. Behind them, a great illuminated city.”
Unitarian composer Béla Bartók furnishes a set of ten diminutive arrangements of Christmas carols from Rumania, known as Colinde, and traditional Christmas carols from other European traditions make their way into Franz Liszt’s The Christmas Tree, composed for his granddaughter. Also included are an arrangement of Catalonia’s ubiquitous Christmas carol El cant dels ocells (The Song of the Birds), and a selection from Russian composer Vladimir Rebikov’s ballet The Christmas Tree.
Read on for more programming details:

“Christmas Around the World”
Piano Music by Adam Kent

Navidad: Milagro en dos cuadros, Op. 16
Segundo cuadro
Joaquín Turina

Rumanian Christmas Carols, First Series
Béla Bartók

Psallite! From The Christmas Tree
Franz Liszt

Opening Music:
The Song of the Birds
Traditional Catalan Christmas Carol, arr. by Joaquín Nin-Culmell

Waltz from The Christmas Tree
Vladimir Rebikov

Adeste Fideles From The Christmas Tree
Franz Liszt

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