Music Inspired By The Coldest Season – Part Two

The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky’s enchanting story of toys that come to life on Christmas Eve has become a Winter favourite. It includes dancing snowflakes, a sugar plum fairy and of course lots of sweets.

Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck

Humperdinck’s fairy tale opera has been associated with the festive season since its premiere – it was first performed on 23 December 1893. Hansel and Gretel have been battling against the witch in the gingerbread house in opera houses all over the world ever since.

The Seasons (Die Jahreszeiten) by Haydn

“Now the outworn year is dying/ and chilly fogs descend” begins the fourth and final part of Haydn’s oratorio The Seasons. The piece is based on a poem by James Thomson – but Haydn decided the ‘Winter’ section was too miserable to finish his work with, so he added a rousing chorus at the end.

Sinfonia Antarctica by Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote the music for the 1947 epic film ‘Scott of the Antarctic’ and he was so inspired by the moving story and the wintery landscape that he incorporated much of the music from his score into his seventh symphony – the Sinfonia Antarctica.

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