Deck the halls, hang the stockings, and hear the sleigh bells ring with this year’s selection of festive concerts on DG Stage. World-renowned stars accompany you this holiday season from candlelit cathedrals and historical halls, offering enchanting performances of Christmas classics, Yuletide carols, and centuries-old chants, concertos, and oratorios. Let the celebrated bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, star oboist Albrecht Mayer, the pioneering Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the visionary Valery Gergiev, and the Vatican’s own Sistine Chapel Choir provide you with comfort and good cheer for the month of December.
DG Premium and Deutsche Grammophon wish you happy holidays – may your days be merry and bright, and of course, filled with music!
PREMIERE: The Monteverdi ensembles & John Eliot Gardiner – Berlioz: L’enfance du Christ
In a brand new production, marking the first performance at their new London home, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, led by their founder and conductor, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, perform one of Hector Berlioz’s most substantial works. L’enfance du Christ is a three-part oratorio that traces the story of King Herod and the flight of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus into Egypt. Best known for the Shepherds’ Farewell, the work is one of supreme beauty and a favourite among other Romantic composers. These include Massenet and Brahms, who wrote a letter to Clara Schumann saying: ‘This work has always enchanted me. I really like it the best of all Berlioz’s works.’ Together with the Trinity Boys Choir and a fine selection of international soloists, the concert takes place at the iconic St Martin-in-the-Fields, kicking off the festive season with warmth, serenity, and old-fashioned charm.
December 22 – 29, 2021
Bryn Terfel & Friends in Concert
In a perfect prelude to the holiday season, bass-baritone Bryn Terfel presents a magical selection of seasonal works from a candlelit Brecon Cathedral as part of the Met Stars Live in Concert series (filmed in December 2020). He is joined by a stellar group of fellow Welsh musicians: soprano Natalya Romaniw, tenor Trystan Llŷr Griffiths, pianist Jeffrey Howard, harpist Hannah Stone, and folk group Calan. Alongside such favourite carols as Silent Night and In the Bleak Midwinter, complete with verses in Welsh, their repertoire also includes excerpts from Wagner’s Tannhäuser and Lerner & Loewe’s film-musical adaptation of The Little Prince, the much-loved traditional Welsh song Ar Hyd y Nos (All Through the Night) and two works by contemporary Welsh composer Robat Arwyn. The perfect setting for this concert with its themes of peace and hope, Brecon Cathedral began life as a Benedictine Priory in 1093, built on the site of an earlier Celtic church. The present building, with its Gothic arches and magnificent stained-glass windows, dates primarily from the thirteenth century.
December 03 – 30, 2021
Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra present works by Florence Price and Amanda Harberg
The Philadelphia Orchestra and its Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin present a celebration of music by two American female composers. They begin with the world premiere of Amanda Harberg’s Piccolo Concerto, featuring soloist Erica Peel, the orchestra’s piccoloist. It was Peel who commissioned Harberg to expand her Sonata for Piccolo and Piano (2018) into a full-scale concerto. The second work on the programme is the Third Symphony of Florence Price (1887-1953), the first African-American woman to have a work performed by a major American orchestra. Full of shifting moods, the symphony shows increasing experimentalism and incorporates melodic and rhythmic elements of spirituals and the juba, an African-derived folk dance. Price’s music fell into neglect for decades but is currently enjoying a much-deserved revival. Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra are among its champions – their recordings of her Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3, released digitally in September 2021, have now been recognised with a Grammy nomination.
December 10 – 17, 2021
Masters of Baroque: Albrecht Mayer & Vital Julian Frey
Oboist Albrecht Mayer and harpsichordist Vital Julian Frey take the audience on a journey through the Baroque era, exploring works from two masters of the period: Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi. Albrecht Mayer, who has already dedicated several of his albums to the Baroque era, including Bach – Concertos and Transcriptions, as well as Tesori d’Italia, fascinates once again in this concert from the Siemensvilla with his unique, colorful oboe sound. He shows his virtuoso mastery of the instrument, not only in oboe concertos and trio sonatas, but also in famous arias transcribed for oboe d’amore, ideal for showing off his vocal qualities.
December 17 – 24, 2021
Veni Domine – Advent & Christmas at the Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel Choir and its director Massimo Palombella presents medieval plainchant and masterpieces of Renaissance polyphony written for the liturgical period of Advent and Christmas. Performing in the unique acoustic of the Sistine Chapel, the world’s longest-established choir brings a selection of beautiful works by composers such as Palestrina, Nanino, Marenzio, Victoria, and Allegri, including several world premiere recordings.
Unearthed from previously little-explored original sources, its programme of medieval and Renaissance pieces offers an entirely new perspective on the Christmas celebrations. This contemplative yet sophisticated vocal repertoire highlights the wonder of the Nativity, bringing the Biblical-liturgical texts of this special time of year vividly to life.
December 19 – 30, 2021
Piotr Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker from the Mariinsky Theatre
Tchaikovsky’s iconic ballet is a truly magical Christmas treat. When its young heroine tiptoes downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her nutcracker doll, he comes to life and saves her from the Mouse King as the mice do battle with the toy soldiers. Transformed into a prince and princess, the two then travel to a land of enchantment, meeting such characters as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Filmed live at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, where the ballet was first staged in 1892, this production stars Alina Somova as the Princess Masha and Vladimir Shklyarov as the Nutcracker Prince.
December 26, 2021 – January 02, 2022