Episode 119. Christmas Art Songs

Episode 119. Christmas Art Songs



Joaquín Nin y Castellanos (1879 – 1949)

It’s time for my third annual Christmas show! Can you believe that Countermelody has been around that long already? This year I am reviving last year’s theme, Christmas-themed art songs, but with all-new material this time around as sung by some of my very favorite singers, including Elly Ameling, Teresa Berganza, Norman Bailey, Irmgard Seefried, Lois Marshall, Benjamin Luxon, Jennie Tourel, Jorma Hynninen, Janet Baker, Peter Schreier, Sarah Walker, and many, many more. It’s an absolutely chock-full episode which focuses upon seasonal songs by Hugo Wolf, Joaquín Nin, Richard Strauss, Peter Warlock, Paul Hindemith, Peter Cornelius, Joaquín Rodrigo, and Maurice Ravel. Attention is devoted to many of the characters in the original Christmas story: the Virgin Mary, the Shepherds, the Magi, and the Baby Jesus himself, while also not neglecting songs that address the less joyous aspects of the holiday season. I guarantee that your spirits will be uplifted, however, when Lotte Lehmann “drops in” to recite two of the poems from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Marienleben cycle. In addition, the episode begins with a tribute to Justino Díaz, who this past week received a Kennedy Center Honor.

Hugo Wolf (1860 – 1904)


George Frideric Handel: But who may abide the day of his coming (Messiah). Justino Díaz, Johannes Somary, English Chamber Orchestra [1970]

Arnolt Schlick: Maria zart. Elly Ameling, Johannes Koch, Walter Gerwig [1961]

Joseph Marx, Friedrich von Hardenberg [Novalis]: Marienlied. Elisabeth Schumann, Karl Alwin, Wiener Staatsopernorchester [1928]

Traditional German, arr. Kurt Gaebel: Maria duch ein Dornwald ging. Rita Streich, Kurt Gaebel, RIAS Symphonie-Orchester Berlin [1957]

Traditional British, arr. Cecil J. Sharp: The Holly and the Ivy. Lois Marshall, Weldon Kilburn [1959]

Peter Warlock, unknown lyricist: Balulalow. Janet Baker, Martin Isepp [1963]

Michael Head, Margaret Rose: The Little Road to Bethlehem. Sarah Walker, Roger Vignoles [1991]

Rainer Maria Rilke: Geburt Mariä (Das Marienleben). Lotte Lehmann [1958]

Paul Hindemith, Rainer Maria Rilke: Geburt Mariä (Das Marienleben, Op. 23/1). Irmgard Seefried, Sergiu Celibidache, Orchestra della RAI di Torino [live Torino18.02.1955]

Rainer Maria Rilke: Geburt Christi (Das Marienleben). Lotte Lehmann [1958]

Paul Hindemith, Rainer Maria Rilke: Geburt Christi (Das Marienleben, Op, 48/7). Jennie Tourel, Erich Itor Kahn [1954]

Peter Warlock, Bruce Blunt: The Frostbound Wood. Norman Bailey, Geoffrey Parsons [1976]

Richard Strauss, Martin Greif: Weihnachtsgefühl. Edita Gruberovà, Friedrich Haider [1991]

Richard Strauss, Karl Friedrich Henckell: Winterweihe, Op. 48/4. Margaret Price, Wolfgang Sawallisch [1987]

Jean Sibelius, Zachris Topelius: Giv mig ej glans (Fem Julsånger, Op. 1/4). Tom Krause, Irwin Gage [1984]

Otto Kotilainen, Alpo Noponen: Kun joulu on. Kim Borg, Pentti Koskimies [1958]

Maurice Ravel: Noël des jouets. Yolanda Marcoulescou, Katja Phillabaum [1978]

Traditional French, arr. Joseph Canteloube: Il sommellait, le pauvre pâtre [Noël de Basse-Auvergne]. Geneviève Touraine, Irène Aïtoff [1956]

Peter Cornelius: Die Hirten (Weihnachtslieder, Op. 8/2). Hermann Prey, Leonard Hokanson [1971]

Hugo Wolf, Eduard Mörike: Schlafendes Jesuskind. Benjamin Luxon, David Willison [1972]

Hugo Wolf, Eduard Mörike: Auf ein altes Bild. Jorma Hynninen, Ralf Gothóni [1978]

Hugo Wolf, Lopez de Ubeda, translated and adapted by Paul Heyse: Ach, des Knaben Augen (Spanisches Liederbuch). Aafje Heynis, Irwin Gage [1971]

Hugo Wolf, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Epiphanias. Peter Schreier, Norman Shetler [1979]

Joaquín Rodrigo, Lope Felix de Vega Carpio: Pastorcito santo. Victoria de los Angeles, Gonzalo Soriano [1962]

Traditional Spanish, arr. Joaquín Nin: Villancico de Córdoba. Elly Ameling, Dalton Baldwin [1977]

Traditional Spanish, arr. Joaquín Nin: Villancico Castellano. Elsie Houston, unknown pianist [ca. 1938]

Joaquín Nin: Jesús de Nazareth. Teresa Berganza, Felix Lavilla [live Aix-en-Provence, July 1962]

Traditional Spanish, arr. Joaquín Nin: Villancico Vasco. Claron McFadden, Elias Arizcuren, Cello Octet Conjunto Ibérico [1998]

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