A Christmas Carol Tickets

A Christmas carol is a carol whose lyrics are on the theme of Christmas, or the winter season in general. They are traditionally sung in the period before Christmas. The tradition of Christmas carols hails back as far as the thirteenth century, although carols were originally communal songs sung during celebrations like harvest tide as well as Christmas. It was only later that carols begun to be sung in church, and to be specifically associated with Christmas.


It is not clear whether the word carol derives from the French ?carole? or the Latin "carula" meaning a circular dance. In any case the dancing seems to have been abandoned quite early, but some examples are very danceable. In the 1680s and 1690s two French composers had incorporated carols into their works. Louis-Claude Daquin wrote 12 Noels for organ. In 2002 Mark Darlow researched the verses that belonged with the tunes and arranged them for choir and orchestra. Marc-Antoine wrote a few instrumental versions of Noels, plus one major choral work Messe de minuit pour No?l these are carols with orchestral links written by Charpentier. In a public radio program titled Carols for dancing the host of PRI's Sound & Spirit, Ellen Kushner explores the history of Christmas carols and their roots in Medieval and Renaissance dance. Especially for the program, the musicians of Renaissances performed the carols in a fashion informed by their work as an award-winning Renaissance dance band.

Ralph Vaughan-Williams wrote his "Fantasia on Christmas Carols" in 1912. Victor Hely-Hutchinson wrote his "Carol Symphony" in 1927. Christina Rosetti wrote a poem called "In the Bleak Midwinter", and Gustav Holst set it to music in 1905, making it a modern Christmas Carol. There is also a tradition of performances of serious music relating to Christmas in the period around Christmas, including Handel's "Messiah," the "Christmas Oratorio" by J. S. Bach, and "L'Enfance du Christ" by Berlioz.

In Australia, where it is the middle of summer at Christmas, there is a tradition of Carols by Candlelight concerts which are held outdoors at night in cities and towns during the weeks leading up to Christmas. In Melbourne, "Carols by Candlelight" is held each Christmas Eve. Performers perform at the concerts including opera singers and popular music singers. People in the audience hold lit candles and join in singing some of the carols in accompaniment with the celebrities.

Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Nutcracker" was first performed on December 17th 1892, and has come to be a Christmas tradition. It is performed more frequently at Christmas than at any other time of the year. Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki extensively quotes the Christmas carol Silent Night in his Second Symphony nicknamed the Christmas Symphony.

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