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Christmas Day with Ian Skelly - Victorian Christmas Cards, Michael Morpurgo, Bach's Christmas Oratorio

Refresh your Christmas morning with a great selection of classical music. Ian Skelly's guest is author Michael Morpurgo.

Ian Skelly with Essential Classics - the best in classical music.

0930 Your ideas for companion pieces on the Essential Classics playlist.

1010 Our Classical Century - 100 pieces celebrating 100 key moments in classical music in the last century.

1050 This Christmas week, the former Children's Laureate and prolific author Michael Morpurgo shares his cultural inspirations.

1130 Slow Moment - time to take a break for a moment's musical reflection.

3 hours

Music Played

  • Victor Hely-Hutchinson

    Carol Symphony (Prelude)

    Conductor: Gavin Sutherland. Orchestra: City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • Hely-Hutchinson: A Carol Symphony.
    • Naxos.
  • Erno Dohnanyi

    Pastorale 'Ungarisches Weinachtslied'

    Performer: Martin Roscoe.
    • Hyperion.
  • Antonio Vivaldi

    Concerto in F for two horns, RV.539

    Ensemble: La Serenissima. Conductor: Adrian Chandler.
    • Avie.
  • Arnold Schoenberg

    Weihnachtsmusik (Christmas Music)

    Ensemble: Taverner Players. Director: Andrew Parrott.
    • Christmas Carols.
    • Virgin Classics.
    • 014.
  • Franz Liszt

    Adeste fideles (Weihnachtsbaum)

    Performer: Leslie Howard.
    • Liszt Christmas Tree: Via Crucis; Chorales.
    • Hyperion.
    • 4.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Jauchzet, frohlocket! (Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248)

    Conductor: Riccardo Chailly. Singer: Carolyn Sampson. Singer: Wiebke Lehmkuhl. Singer: Martin Lattke. Singer: Wolfram Lattke. Singer: Konstantin Wolff. Choir: Dresdner Kammerchor. Orchestra: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.
    • Bach: Weihnachts-Oratorium; Dresdner Kammerchor, Gewandhausorchester, Riccardo C.
    • Decca.
    • 1.
  • Fanny Hensel


    Orchestra: The Women’s Philharmonic. Conductor: JoAnn Falletta.
    • Koch.
  • Felix Mendelssohn


    Performer: Eugene Asti. Singer: Anna Grevelius.
    • Hyperion.
  • Richard Strauss

    Weihnachtslied, TrV. 2

    Performer: Roger Vignoles. Singer: Ruby Hughes.
    • Hyperion.
  • Aaron Copland

    Hoe-Down (Rodeo)

    Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
    • Sony Classical.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV565

    Performer: Simon Preston.
    • DG.
  • Leroy Anderson

    Sleigh Ride

    Orchestra: Boston Pops Orchestra. Conductor: Arthur Fiedler.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Jakub Jan Ryba

    Credo (Czech Christmas Mass)

    Singer: Gabriela Eibenová. Singer: Magdalena Kožená. Singer: Jaroslav Březina. Singer: Michael Pospíšil. Ensemble: Capella Regia Musicalis. Conductor: Robert Hugo.
    • Ryba - Czech Christmas Mass.
    • Archiv.
    • 7.
  • Dame Ethel Mary Smyth

    The Wreckers (Overture)

    Orchestra: Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Conductor: Alexander Gibson.
    • EMI Classics.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

    Choir: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Orchestra: Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Conductor: Sir David Willcocks.
    • EMI.
  • John Tavener

    The Lamb

    Choir: The Sixteen. Director: Harry Christophers.
    • CORO.
  • George Frideric Handel

    The trumpet shall sound (Messiah)

    Singer: Nathan Berg. Performer: James Ghigi. Orchestra: Les Arts Florissants. Conductor: William Christie.
    • George Frideric Handel - Messiah.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • 16.
  • Ivor Gurney

    Lights Out

    Singer: Susan Bickley. Performer: Iain Burnside.
    • Naxos.
  • Robert Schumann

    Novelette, Op.21 No.8 (1838)

    Performer: Imogen Cooper.
    • CHANDOS.
  • Georges Bizet

    L'Arlésienne Suite No 2

    Orchestra: Les Musiciens du Louvre. Conductor: Marc Minkowski.
    • Naive.
  • Franz Liszt

    Christus: Pastorale

    Singer: Benita Valente. Singer: Peter Lindroos. Choir: Slovak Philharmonic Choir. Orchestra: Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: James Conlon.
    • Apex.
  • John Merrick

    The Bee Carol

    Choir: BBC Singers. Conductor: Bob Chilcott.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    3 Dance episodes from 'On the town'

    Orchestra: Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Leonard Slatkin.
    • Barber/Bernstein/Gershwin/Copland: Great American Showpieces.
    • Angel.
    • 7.


Our Classical Century

Our Classical Century

Radio 3 explores 100 key musical moments that shaped us, from 1918 to the present day.

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Time Travellers: the podcast

Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough presents quirky tales gathered from the corners of history.