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RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Christmas Lunchtime

Thursday 12th December, 2019

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RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
John Finucane, conductor
Simon Morgan, baritone
Presented by Liz Nolan, RTÉ lyric fm

Programme includes

Korngold  The Snowman Overture
Davis arr. Kennedy  The Little Drummer Boy
Rebikov  Christmas Tree Waltz
Kelehan  A Christmas Fantasy
Tormé arr. Riddle  The Christmas Song
Morley  Snowride
Anderson  Sleigh Ride 
Williams  ‘Harry’s Wondrous World’ from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

There’s a snow-covered world of enchantment to be explored in the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s second Christmas lunchtime concert as, with the able assistance of RTÉ lyric fm’s Liz Nolan presenting live on stage, it takes a musical sleigh ride into seasonal magic and fantasy.

The Overture to the 11-year-old Korngold’s lush and luxurious ballet-pantomime The Snowman is as delightfully animated as the story it tells of merry-making and mischief. Going to the very heart of the Christmas story, Katherine Kennicott Davis’ The Little Drummer Boy (first recorded by the Trapp Family Singers) is a touching tale of a child ushered into the Nativity where he offers the new-born Christchild the only gift he has: a gently stirring march played on his drum.

The Waltz from Vladimir Rebikov’s opera The Christmas Tree and Noel Kelehan’s A Christmas Fantasy are altogether bewitching concoctions, one blending the fantasy of Hans Christian Andersen and lilting romance of Johann Strauss, the other a gorgeous traditional take on seasonal themes.

Better known as Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, Bob Wells and Mel Tormé’s The Christmas Song is a beautifully relaxed meditation on the wonder, comfort, excitement and joy of Christmastime for the child in all of us.

Angela Morley’s evocative Snowride and Leroy Anderson’s jaunty, perennially popular Sleigh Ride offer two carefree opportunities to glide and canter through snowy landscapes as Christmas Day gets ever closer.

There’s a Christmas magic and message, too, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the tale of an orphaned wizard using his new-found powers for good that captured the imagination of a young readers and film-goers everywhere. ‘Harry’s Wondrous World’ thrillingly opens up a vast vista of adventure and fantasy.

Presented by RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra