During the holidays we unpack, dust off and polish up countless traditions,. Some are surrounded by festive foods, others involve preparing and decorating for family, friends and homecomings. Many of these special times include classic movies that take us back to wonderful Christmases past. Lynne Warfel shares music that made great films from 'A Christmas Carol' to 'Polar Express' come alive with the warmth and sparkle of the season.
Tue, 12/25/2012 - 1:00pm
Tue, 12/25/2012 - 7:00pm
Tinsel Tales features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk... these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.
Dad 'n' Sam (Jay Allison)
Homeless Christmas (Lee Stringer)
Christmas Morning, 1949 (Sylvia Seymour/Paul Auster)
Low-Glamour Christmas Party (Bailey White)
Doing it in the Closet (John McIlwraith)
Christopher (Jay O'Callahan)
Ode to Christmas (Chuck Kramer)
Santaland Diaries (David Sedaris)
Modern Day Joseph and Mary (Scott Simon)
John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story (John Henry Faulk)
Thu, 12/20/2012 - 9:00pm
CocteauBoy via flickr.com
The holiday tradition continues with Paul Winter's Winter Solstice Celebration. A dynamic musical celebration in the extraordinary acoustics of the worlds largest Gothic cathedral - New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Hear a unique exploration of the solstice tradition in cultures near and far. The Paul Winter Consort is joined by musicians from all over the world, including Russia's Dimitri Pokrovsky Ensemble and gospel singer Theresa Thomasson. John Schaefer hosts the production from Living Music and Murray Street.
Tue, 12/18/2012 - 1:00pm
PetroleumJelliffe via flickr.com
Advent is a time of quiet contemplation and waiting. It's waiting for darkness to become light and for hopes to be realized. Throughout the centuries Advent has been observed musically in sacred and secular ways. Join Lynne for this encore of an hour of the most beautiful vocal music inspired by and written for Advent.
Traditional Appalachian: I Wonder as I Wander
Emma Kirkby/Sony 62688
Byrd: Ecce Virgo Concipiet
Stile Antico/Harmonia Mundi 807517
Biebl: Ave Maria
14th C German: Quem Pastores Laudavere
Cambridge Singers/Rutter Collegium 111
Poulenc: Quem vidistis pastores dicite
Cambridge Singers/Rutter/ Collegium 108
Trad French: Quelle est cette odeur agreable
Chanticleer/ Teldec 94563
Poulenc: Videntes Stellam
Choir of Trinity College Cambridge/Richard Marlowe/ Conifer 51308
Traditional Canadian: Huron Carol/'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime
Cambridge Singers/Rutter / Collegium 111
Tomas Luis De Victoria: O Magnum Mysterium
Lauridsen: O Magnum Mysterium
Chamber Choir of Europe/Hannsler 98272
Gruber: Stille Nacht
The King's Singers/EMI 44909
Scheidt: O Jesulein Zart
Bryn Terfel/Nidus Childrens Choir/DG 14914
Holst: In the Bleak Midwinter
Theater of Voices/Hillier/Harmonia Mundi 907079
12th C: Veni, Veni Emmanuel
Traditional Spiritual: Sweet Little Jesus Boy
Jessye Norman/Philips 400019
Wed, 12/19/2012 - 8:00pm
Music director Seamus Egan is returning, and his groundbreaking group Solas will be back on stage as well. In 2010, harpist Catriona McKay and fiddler Chris Stout created quite a stir during these shows. They have agreed to return for this anniversary edition. The virtuosity of Winifred Horan on fiddle and Natalie Haas on cello promises to create a lush string sound. Add in the bass of long-time participant Chico Huff with percussionist Ben Wittman rounding off the band and some spectacular instrumentals and song arrangements are expected.
When the Chieftains visited WGBH in March of this year, the singing of Alyth McCormack from Scotland riveted the audience and she has agreed to join the cast of A Christmas Celtic Sojourn in December! We are so excited. Navan, one of the very first groups to perform in the show back in 2003 will return with their unique four part harmonies. With Lindsay O’Donovan again returning (10th year), the great vocals of Mick McAuley and Eamon McElholm and, of course, host Brian O’Donovan joining in as he's known to do, the songs will be just terrific.
Also from the regular touring lineup of the Chieftains, brothers Jon and Nathan Pilatzke, and Cara Butler will bring their unique approach to Irish dance, blending in much of the drama of the Ottawa Valley in Canada where the boys were raised. And what would A Christmas Celtic Sojourn be without the young dancers from the Harney Academy of Irish Dance in Walpole? They have truly become part of the tradition.
Off the Page
Tue, 12/11/2012 - 1:00pm
Tue, 12/11/2012 - 7:00pm
Both the bright, cheery holidays and the bleakness of winter can leave people in a mixed-up emotional mess. Clinical psychologist Jerry Duvinsky of Endicott would say that the pain and confusion springs from a need to control everything, including the “dark emotions”. Dr. Duvinsky joins Bill Jaker and takes listener questions about his new book, “How to Lose Control and Gain Emotional Freedom”.
Read more HERE
Mon, 12/17/2012 - 9:00pm
A service in song and word that has become one of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians who are members of five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra.
A Chanukah Special
Thu, 12/13/2012 - 8:00pm
joshuapaquin via flickr.com
More than two thousand years ago, in the days of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the religious life of the Jews was brought almost to a halt by the ancient Greeks. But rather than give in to the pressure to assimilate, a band of Jews who practiced their faith in secret returned to their holy city and rededicated the Temple. Their courageous act and its aftermath form the focus of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. Mindy Ratner and Bill Morelock offer a program which explores the customs and music of the holiday.
Narrated by Leonard Nimoy
Tue, 12/11/2012 - 8:00pm
Jewish Agency for Israel
Narrated by Leonard Nimoy and sung by the acclaimed vocal sextet The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, "Chanukah in Story and Song" is a unique holiday program created especially for public radio listeners.
This delightfully engaging program presents 25 eclectic selections, from the Ladino songs of the Spanish Jews and Yiddish melodies of Eastern Europe to modern Israeli tunes and the ensemble's original version of "I Have a Little Dreydle."
The ensemble performs a cappella as well as with instrumental accompaniment. The narration, written by Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, sheds new light on the holiday's customs and rituals. Listeners of all ages will hum the tunes after enjoying this wonderful program.