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Christmas as you would like it to be
on 26 November 2004
This is the best compilation I know of Christmas classical 'lollipops'. There are three sleigh-rides (Leroy Anderson's, Frederick Delius's, and Sergei Prokofiev's 'Troika', the latter popularised many years ago in the Sauter-Finnegan arrangement); three excerpts from Hely-Hutchinson's Carol Symphony, including the enchanting arrangement of 'The First Nowell' which the BBC used as the signature-tune to its dramatisation of Masefield's 'The Box of Delights', both in its original radio Children's Hour version and in its much later TV version; Adam's delightful 'Cantique de Noel' and Bach's reflective 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring'; and a well-chosen selection of choral and orchestral carols.
Just two criticisms - the Bacchanale from Glazunov's 'The Seasons' (well-known as the theme-music for the London Marathon), whilst being wonderfully exhilarating and sounding as if it should belong to Winter (as stated), was in fact written for Autumn; and how can you have a 'Classic Christmas' with no Handel?