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RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Christmas Lunchtime

wednesday 11th December, 2019

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RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
John Finucane, conductor
Amy Ní Fhearraigh, soprano
Presented by Liz Nolan, RTÉ lyric fm

Anderson  A Christmas Festival
Handel  ‘Rejoice Greatly’ from Messiah
Trad. arr. Willcocks  The First Nowell
Waldteufel  Les Patineurs (‘The Skater’s Waltz’)
Tiomkin  Prologue from It’s a Wonderful Life
Woodward arr. Good  Ding, Dong, Merrily on High
Adam arr. Byrne  O Holy Night
Trad. arr. Smith  Jingle Bells Forever
Prokofiev Troika from Lieutenant Kijé

’Tis the season to be merry and the first of the RTÉ NSO’s Christmas lunchtime concerts, presented by RTÉ lyric fm’s Liz Nolan, offers an overflowing stocking of festive musical treats for the most enchanting time of the year.

Leroy Anderson’s joyful collage of Carols and seasonal songs A Christmas Festival – even more enjoyable in its original, extended version – and the brilliant Jingle Bells Forever treating the famed melody to a John Philip Sousa makeover get things off to a dazzling start.

There’s more traditional fare on offer in the enchanting beauty of The First Nowell, the ebullient Ding, Dong, Merrily on High and, courtesy of a sumptuous arrangement by Brian Byrne, Adolphe Adam’s crystalline O Holy Night.

No Christmas would be complete without Handel’s glorious Messiah which has established itself as an essential seasonal fixture. The radiant and rapturous ‘Rejoice Greatly’ shows why.

Frank Capra’s quintessential feel-good film It’s a Wonderful Life has also staked its place at the heart of Christmas. The Prologue from Dimitri Tiomkin’s timeless soundtrack is a rollercoaster ride of emotions that pricks the eye and tugs at the heart every bit as much as it pleases the ear and a sleigh ride courtesy of the dazzling Troika from Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé is once experienced, never forgotten!

Presented by RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra