Article by Teerna Mukhopadhyay
We’ve got two Christmas playlists for you to enjoy which you can listen to over on Spotify. Have a read below all about our choices!
Here are the links to the Spotify playlists:
Playlist 1: Eboracum’s Baroque Christmas Favourites
As the name suggests, the first playlist we have here is a compilation of all of Eboracum’s favourite Baroque Christmas pieces which include a variety of different pieces, some more contrapuntal and fast paced, others much more slow!
Track 1: Symphonie de Noëls No.4: À la venue de Noël by Michel Richard De Lalande:
First on the list is ‘A la venue de Noël’ by French Baroque composer, Lalande. This particular piece is from his Symphonie de Noels and was picked by Miriam Monaghan, the recorder player of Eboracum! These great tunes are traditional french carols which Lalande has harmonised (with great bass lines!) Well worth checking out the whole set… (Charpentier also did many!)
Track 2: Bach Christmas Oratorio Part VI- For the Feast of Epiphany: No 54: Chorus: “Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben”:
Next on the playlist we have ‘Herr, wenn die Stolzen Feinde schnauben’ (Lord, when our boastful foes blow fury) from Part VI of Bach’s famous Christmas Oratorio which was picked by Miri Nohl. She picked this piece because “As soon as it starts, I feel Christmas has arrived. As well as the beautiful trumpet melody to enjoy listening to, the continuo line is highly active and really fun to play! When the chorus enters and glides over the top of the busy orchestral writing it is magnificent.”
Track 3: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme Organ Chorale from Bach’s Sleepers Awake BWV 645:
Going bach to Bach (no pun intended!), we have Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme which is the organ chorale from Bach’s choral cantata Sleepers Awake. This piece was picked by John Holland- Avery who says ‘it is one of the best pieces of Christmas music ever written. It is perfect in every way really with the counterpoint being so melodic and a beautiful chorale tune.’
Track 4: Joy to the World:
Next up is a well known tune (possibly resembling some Handel but let’s not go down that rabbit hole!). This Christmas carol was picked by Alexandra Osborne because ‘it never fails to put her in a good mood!’
Track 5: Domine ad adjuvandium from Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine
Here the playlist takes a trip to Italy with a movement from Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine called Domine ad adjuvandium, which was picked by Elen Lloyd Roberts, one of the sopranos of Eboracum. She chose this because ‘she loves the trumpets in this piece’ (You can’t get never have enough trumpets!)
Track 6: Pastorale from Corelli’s Christmas Concerto:
This one was picked by violinist, Kirsty Main and she picked this particular piece as her favourite because ‘it was one of the first baroque pieces I ever played with a group and I loved it so much!’
Track 7: Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!, BWV 214 by J.S Bach
Here we have some more Bach, this time we have a cantata: Tonet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! (Resound, ye drums! Ring out, ye trumpets!) This one was picked by Naomi Sturges, one of the singers of Eboracum. It’s a famous tune that Bach reused at the start of his Christmas Oratorio…
Track 8: Sinfonia in G Major from Part 2 of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
Next on the list also by Bach is the first movement of the second cantata of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio which was picked by oboist, Katie Lewis. She says ‘I love the rich pastoral sounds, especially from 4 low oboes!’
Track 9: Schlafe, mein Liebster from Part 2 of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
Once again next up is a selection from Part 2 of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (the Bach Christmas Oratorio is a common favourite of the Eboracum team!).This was picked by viola player, Francesca Gilbert. She says ‘it’s just beautiful. I love anything with caccias and its such a satisfying play.’
Track 10: Next Winter Comes Slowly from Purcell’s Fairy Queen
Seasonal music by Purcell next, ‘Winter Comes Slowly’ which is from his opera The Fairy Queen. This beautiful piece was picked by Brendan Musk, one of the trumpet players of Eboracum. This is his favourite because ‘I love the wintry sounds, the chills and shivers and the cold bleak harmony.’
Track 11: And the Glory of the Lord from Handel’s Messiah
Next on the playlist we have ‘And the Glory of the Lord’ from Handel’s Messiah which I picked as my favourite! I decided to pick this one because I actually studied this piece at GCSE a few years ago and we also performed it at one of my school concerts so for me it’s very nostalgic! I also love the imitation between the voices which creates polyphonic textures, it really is such a beautiful chorus!
Track 10: Gloria from Messe de Minuit pour Noël by Charpentier
Last, and by no means least, we have a really joyful Christmas piece called Messe de Minuit pour Noël by Charpentier. This piece was picked by Chris Parsons, the director of the group because “Charpentier cleverly takes traditional french christmas carols and arranges them with the mass text and you get a bit of everything, solo voices, duets, full choir and lovely instrumental sections too. The whole piece is lovely but the Gloria is 4 minutes of perfect music! As I’m very last minute with my present wrapping I often listen to this piece – and usually around midnight too!”
Playlist 2: Eboracum’s Christmas Hits
This playlist features a variety of different modern Christmas songs specially picked by the Eboracum crew. Warning: 100% guarantee to get you dancing on your feet.
Track 1: All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey
First up we have probably one of the most iconic Christmas songs out there: ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ by Mariah Carey chosen by Miriam Monaghan.
Track 2: The Christmas Waltz: Leslie Odom Jr
Up next we turn to some wonderful jazz with The Christmas Waltz by Leslie Odom Jr which was picked by Miri Nohl. This song is her favourite as ‘its incredible cheesy and if you can’t indulge in that at Christmas when can you?!?’
Track 3: The Shepherds Pipe Carol by John Rutter
Next on the playlist we have ‘The Shepherds Pipe Carol’ by John Rutter, which was picked by John Holland Avery. He picked this one because ‘it is very Hollywood!’
Track 4: The Shepherd’s Farewell by Hector Berlioz
Coming up next we have The Shepherd’s Farewell by Hector Berlioz, which was picked out by Alexandra Osborne.
Track 5: White Christmas by Bing Crosby
Up next we have ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby, which was picked out by Elen Lloyd Roberts. This version of the song is from the film ‘White Christmas’ which stars Bing Crosby himself.
Track 6: Step Into Christmas by Elton John
We are travelling forward once again into the 70s with Elton John’s ‘Step Into Christmas’ which was picked out by Chris Parsons. He picked this one because it is such a classic and it always gets him in the mood for Christmas!
Track 7: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland
Next we have a song by Wizard of Oz star Judy Garland- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, which was picked by Naomi Sturges, one of our singers. This song makes a nice contrast with some of the other more upbeat songs in the playlist!
Track 8: Last Christmas by Wham!
Next up we have Last Christmas by Wham, which was also picked out by Katie Lewis.
Track 9: What are you doing New Years Eve? by Ella Fitzgerald
Here the playlist takes a jazzy turn with What are you doing New Years Eve? by the Queen of Jazz herself Ella Fitzgerald, picked out by Fran Gilbert. Technically not a Christmas tune (but still festive!).
Track 10: Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses
To the 1980’s now with a song chosen by Kirsty Main.
Track 11: The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole
The next song on the playlist is another wholesome pick- Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song. This song was picked by yours truly, because to me it means a lot because it pretty much encapsulates what Christmas is all about- spending time with loved ones and just generally really enjoying this magical time!
Track 12: What a Night! from Harry Connick Junior’s Christmas album ‘What a Night!’
The last song on the playlist is a piece by Harry Connick Junior’s called What a Night! which was picked by trumpet player Brendan Musk. He picked this because ‘it’s so lively and it’s a great big band arrangement!’ A perfect end to our Christmas playlist.