Week of Dec 19 in Classical Music History

This week is a very special week for Ravinia Festival: This Week in Classical Music! At weeks end it is none other than Christmas Day! Beethoven had a particularly remarkable December 22nd 1808, and we spare no expence making sure every work he premiered that day is available for your listening pleasure. Just click the Spotify logo or the link above and add our playlist to your music library. We update our playlist every week so there will never be a need to resubscribe! Below is a day-by-day listing of the track selections for this weeks edition of the playlist. We hope you enjoy!

December 19

  • 1865: Rimsky-Korsakov: Symphony No. 1, in St. Petersburg
  • 1930: American premiere of Stravinsky: "Symphony of Psalms," by the Boston Symphony under Serge Koussevitzky (who commissioned the work to celebrate the Boston Symphony's 50th Anniversary); The world premiere had occurred in Brussels on December 13, 1930, conducted by Ernest Ansermet

December 20

  • 1823: Schubert: incidental music to "Rosamunde," in Vienna, at the Theater an der Wien
  • 1915: Stravinsky's public debut as a conductor, leading a performance of his "Firebird" Ballet Suite at a benefit concert organized by Diaghilev in Geneva, Switzerland;

December 21

  • 1903: Glazunov: Symphony No. 7, in St. Petersburg
  • 1934: Prokofiev: "Lieutenant Kijé" Suite (from the film), on a Moscow radio broadcast

December 22

  • 1808: Beethoven: Symphonies 5 and 6 along with the Choral Fantasy and the Piano Concerto No. 4, at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, with composer as conductor and piano soloist

December 23

  • 1887: Chadwick: “Melpomene” overture, by the Boston Symphony, Wilhelm Gericke conducting
  • 1894: Debussy: Prelude to "The Afternoon of a Faun," at a concert of the Societé Nationale de Musique (not presented in ballet form until 1912)

December 24Christmas Eve

  • 1739: Handel: revival performance of oratorio "Acis and Galetea"
  • 1951: Menotti: opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" as a TV broadcast on the NBC network; According to Opera America magazine, this is one of the most frequently-produced American operas during the past decade

December 25Christmas Day

  • 1818: Franz Gruber: "Silent Night," in St. Nicholas Church, Obendorf, Germany, composed the night before (Christmas Eve)
  • 1870: Wagner: "Siegfried Idyll," at his villa in Switzerland as a combined birthday and Christmas gift to his 33-year old wife, Cosima (she was born on Dec. 24, 1837), Hans Richter playing trumpet and Wagner conducting an ensemble from the top of the staircase; The work is named for their son Siegfried who was six months old on that Christmas morning, and who later also became a composer