December 24 to 26
Stingray Classica celebrates the holidays with a series of seasonal favorites! From December 24 to 26, invite these holiday classics home and make them part of your holiday tradition. Enchanting ballets, celebratory oratorios, and spiritual concerts: this selection is a colorful palette of captivating seasonal programs that appeal to everyone. Apart from Christmas stalwarts such as J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 (December 24 at 21:30 CET), a selection from the composer’s Christmas Cantatas (December 25 at 21:00 CET), and Engelbert Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel (December 26 at 21:00 CET), Stingray Classica presents a surprising new take on a perennial favorite. Enjoy Kader Belarbi's exciting new choreography of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (December 25 at 14:00 CET), performed and recorded at Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse! Moreover, on December 26 at 10:00 CET, conductor Paul Van Nevel and his Huelgas Ensemble present Mirabile Mysterium. This Christmas program consists of an atmospheric musical selection of 14th to 19th-century compositions.
Friday, December 24 | 21:00
English Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner (*1943) found the perfect setting for his recording of J. S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio; the historic Herder Church in Weimar. Against the backdrop of the church's dramatic altarpiece by painter Lucas Cranach the Younger, the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists perform Gardiner's new interpretation of this classic piece. For the renowned conductor, this Weimar concert is a special performance, marking the start of his Bach Cantata Pilgrimage. With this new interpretation of the Christmas Oratorio, Gardiner shows himself once again to be an incontestable specialist in Bach's music. In this documentary, he explains his interpretations, the setting, and more about Bach and his Christmas Oratorio.
J. S. Bach - Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248)
Friday, December 24 | 21:25
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts The Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists in a performance of J. S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) Parts I to III/Parts IV-VI. Claron McFadden (soprano), Christoph Genz (Tenor), Bernarda Fink (alto), Dietrich Henschel (bass) are the soloists. The Christmas Oratorio is a series of six cantatas, each originally intended for performance on one of the major feast days of the Christmas period during the winter of 1734 and 1735 in Leipzig. Bach took many of the arias and choruses from works which had previously been composed, and the music represents an expression of the parody technique, where music is adapted to a new purpose. Gardiner is one of the finest interpreters of Bach’s vocal music and seems to use the choir as a soloist. The size of the choir is similar to that which Bach probably used. This performance is recorded at the Herderkirche in Weimar, Germany, on December 23 and 27, 1999.
Silent Night, Holy Night
Saturday, December 25 | 00:00
This Christmas concert, recorded at the Berlin Schauspielhaus on the Gendarmeriemarkt, was one of the first joint musical productions of reunited Germany. Beautiful visuals of landscapes and other locations in snow and ice turn the concert into a romantic winter storybook. On the program are works by J. S. Bach, G. F. Handel and Prätorius. The Tölz Boys' Choir is led by Gerhard Schmidt-Garden, the Zagorsk Monastery Choir by Matfej Mormyl and the Staatskapelle Dresden by Ferdinand Leitner. Soloists are Maria Graf, Doris Soffel, Siegfried Jerusalem, Jochen Kowalski and Hermann Prey. Recorded in 1990 and directed by Bob Rooyens.
Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker
Saturday, December 25 | 14:00
Toulouse-based Ballet du Capitole performs Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's famous ballet The Nutcracker in a choreography by Kader Belarbi. The Nutcracker, an 1892 ballet in two acts which was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, is based on E. T. A. Hoffmann's story 'The Nutcracker and the Mouse King'. This performance was recorded at Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, France on December 28, 2018.
Bach - Christmas Cantatas
Saturday, December 25 | 21:00
The Collegium Vocale Gent has built its reputation as one of the world's most prestigious choirs. Founded by conductor Philippe Herreweghe, their lively, musical approach strives for an authentic sound. This concert was recorded on December 23, 2015, at the Church of Saint-Roch in Paris. Owing to J. S. Bach's function as the Thomaskantor, the leading cantorate of Protestant Germany at the time, he composed many cantatas for the Lutheran liturgy. These Christmas cantatas are an invitation to reflect on the nature of Christmas. The orchestration evokes feelings of splendor while the counterpoint also carries on a festive mood. The wind instruments act as glorious messengers of joy and the soloists proclaim that the glory brings light. This unique program, consisting of the four cantatas BWV 40, 62 , 63 and 91, offers an elegant and very delicate interpretation of these works. Under the baton of Philippe Herreweghe, the Collegium Vocale delivers an interpretation free of exaggeration or vanity yet full of humility. A glorious concert in the spirit of Christmas.
Mirabile Mysterium - A Christmas Tale
Sunday, December 26 | 10:00
Conductor Paul Van Nevel and his Huelgas Ensemble present the ideal Christmas program, consisting of an atmospheric musical selection of 14th to 19th-century compositions. The Huelgas Ensemble, which has emerged as one of Europe's premiere vocal ensembles dedicated to the performance of music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, is the ideal candidate for the job, conveying all the mystery and luster a Christmas celebration calls for. Van Nevel organized his varied musical selection in four distinct themes: ‘The Birth in Bethlehem’, ‘The Crime of Herodes’, ‘The Travel of the Three Kings’, and an Epilogue. In 2015, the full program was performed and recorded at the baroque St. Augustine Church currently known as AMUZ in Antwerp, Belgium. ‘The Birth in Bethlehem’ opens and closes with pieces by unidentified composers, 'Balaam de quo Vaticinans' and 'A Carol for Christmas Eve' respectively. The core of this section is made up of Jacobus Gallus's 'Myrabile Mysterium' and Jerónimo Luca's 'Este nino que es sol del Aurora'. ‘The Crime of Herodes’ opens with 'Hostis Herodes Impie' by an unidentified composer, followed by Jean Mouton's 'Interrogabat Magos Herodes', Giaches De Wert's 'Vox in Rama', and Bertram Luard-Selby's 'A Voice from Ramah was There Sent'. ‘The Travel of the Three Kings Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar’ opens with 'Vincti Presepio' (anonymous), followed by Pierre De Manchicourt's 'Reges Terrae', Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck's 'Ab Oriente', and Peter Cornelius 'Drei Könige Wandern'. Lastly, the Epilogue consists of 'Quae Stella Sole Pulchrior' (anonymous) and António Marques Lésbio's 'Dexen que Ilore mi Niño'.
Ice Dance: Swan Lake (2015)
Sunday, December 26 | 14:00
The Imperial Ice Stars are an ensemble of 24 world class skaters, holding more than 300 competition medals between them. Praised by critics and audiences alike, they never fail to enchant with creative and powerful story-telling, sumptuous sets, spectacular special effects and opulent costumes. Set to the original score of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece, the Imperial Ice Stars present their 2015 Ice Dance interpretation of Swan Lake, complete with an exhilarating choreography from leading ice director Tony Mercer. “Inspired by my research into Tchaikovsky’s original score and intentions for the story, I wanted to create a more realistic interpretation of this much-loved tale and transpose it onto ice, creating a new art form in the process – ice dance in a full theatrical setting,” the choreographer explains. “I always felt it was a natural fit, to have swans gliding on ice.”
Humperdinck - Hänsel und Gretel
Sunday, December 26 | 21:00
Recorded at the Semperoper Dresden in 2006, the orchestra of the Sächsische Staatskapelle is directed by Michael Hofstetter in a production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. Soloists are Irmgard, Vilsmaier, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen, Antigone Papoulkas and Iris Vermillion. The composer of Hansel and Gretel, Engelbert Humperdinck, wrote was born in Germany in 1854. In the 1890s, his sister, Adelheid Wette, had written a libretto based on the Grimm fairy tale, and asked her brother to set it to music as a Christmas entertainment for her children. Later, Engelbert and Adelheid decided to turn this modest home project into a full-scale opera. Hansel and Gretel, premiered on December 23, 1893 at Weimar, was an instant hit and remains an everlasting masterpiece. The composer Richard Strauss, who was the assistant conductor for the premiere, called it "a masterwork of the first rank."