“…the broad fields were so full of merry music, that the crisp air laughed to hear it!”
—Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Let the season ring! The nativity of Jesus has inspired composers far and wide; let WFMT fill your Christmas celebrations with the richness of this music. Reaching across the ages; across cultures, and continents—with over nine hundred years of music, including advent chants like “O come, O come Emmanuel,” to nativity celebrations by Palestrina and Vittoria, to J.S. Bach, Mendelssohn, Benjamin Britten, Ottorino Respighi; to songwriters like Irving Berlin and Mel Tormé; to contemporary composers like John Rutter and Eric Whitacre; experience the Christmas story through dozens of composers this week on WFMT.
Wonderful party, wonderful games, wonderful unanimity, won-der-ful happiness!”
—Ebenezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol
Weeknights, 7:00 PM
Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin
Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
Monday, December 23, 8:00 PM
Valparaiso University Christmas Concert
Carl Grapentine hosts this broadcast of A Carol Festival with singers and instrumentalists of Valparaiso University. Music by Handel, Britten, Rutter, and more.
Monday, December 23, 8:00 PM
Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Tuesday, December 24
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
In the 9 am hour, hear A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols: Live from King’s College Chapel, Cambridge University. The college choir and readers present their annual Christmas Eve service. Hosted by Michael Barone. In the 3 pm hour, hear Langford’s A Christmas Fantasy, performed by the Huddersfield Choral Society and John Foster Black Dyke Mills Band conducted by Roy Newsome.
Tuesday, December 24, 6:00 PM
A Chanticleer Christmas
The San Francisco-based 12-voice men’s choir performs music for the season.
`What’s to-day, my fine fellow.’ said Scrooge.
`To-day.’ replied the boy. `Why, Christmas Day.’
`It’s Christmas Day.’ said Scrooge to himself. `I haven’t missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can. Hallo, my fine fellow.’
—A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
Tuesday, December 24, 8:00 PM
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol narrated by Sir Ralph Richardson and Paul Scofield
Tuesday, December 24, 9:00 PM
The Tuesday Night Opera with Peter Van De Graaff
Peter presents a double bill of opera recordings and discussion. Hear Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors performed by soloists with the Nashville Symphony and Chorus, conducted by Alastair Willis. Also hear Boughton’s Bethlehem (A Choral Drama) performed by soloists and chorus with the City of London Sinfonia, conducted Alan Melville.
Wednesday, December 25
Hear music and readings through this Christmas Day. In the 11 am hour, host Peter van de Graaff presents a performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Op. 71: Act 1, with the Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. In the 2 pm hour, hear Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, performed by soloists and chorus with the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass. In the 3 pm hour, hear Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28, performed by the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers.
Wednesday, December 25, 10:00 PM
Cedille Chicago Presents
Christmas and Farewell from Chicago’s Cedille record label
Thursday, December 26, 8:00 PM
The New York Philharmonic This Week
Leonard Bernstein, Skitch Henderson, and Danny Kaye, conductors
Mozart: German Dance in C Major, K 605, Sleigh Ride
Tchaikovsky: Symphony #1 in G Minor, Op 13, Winter Dreams
arr Henderson: Winter Holiday 1961-62
Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf
J Strauss Jr: Die Fledermaus Overture
Friday, December 27, 11:00 PM
Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio
Music of the Tenor Masters features John Coltrane’s Peace on Earth.