Your Daily Dose of Christmas!

A longer work today, and one that I’m unfamiliar with to this point: the Christmas Oratorio by Camille Saint-Saens. Saint-Saens was one of the most gifted musical prodigies in history, ranking almost with Mozart in terms of the ease with which music flowed from his pen. Unlike Mozart, Saint-Saens enjoyed success in his life and thus was able to live to old age, dying when he was 86 years old. In fact, Saint-Saens lived long enough to see music pass him by, to a certain extent; while considered a modernist of sorts in his youth, by the time he was an old man and seeing the music of Ravel and Debussy dominate, he was considered by then a reactionary throwback. There’s a lesson there, maybe.

Saint-Saens’s Oratorio de Noel dates from his youth, six of its ten movements written in 1858 when the composer was just 23. He composed that portion of the work in just ten days, and he would add several more movements over the next few years. Like much of Saint-Saens, the Oratorio do Noel is elegant, even urbane, never heavy despite the relatively large forces the score calls for (chorus, orchestra, organ). This is a lovely work!

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One Response to Your Daily Dose of Christmas!

  1. Our choir has sung (sans orchestra) the last piece (35 min in) before Silent Night. I LOVE singing that piece!

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