Classical 101 Holiday Specials

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Where did the year go? While December can really pile on the stress with winter weather, holiday preparations, work deadlines and family visits, it’s also the time for some of the most sublime, glorious music in the cycle of the year.

As 2017 draws to a close, the music of Chanukah and Christmas reminds so many of us of our treasured holiday traditions. 

We have a full slate of special programs scheduled to air on Classical 101 this month, in addition to holiday editions of our regular shows.

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Christmas mornings are special, and that's why I am so pleased to offer you a few Musical Christmas Gifts under your tree at 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 25 on Classical 101.

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As a kid growing up in Louisiana, you never knew whether you’d be wearing shorts or sweaters for Christmas, so it was sometimes difficult to get in the "holiday spirit" you see depicted in cards and commercials. 

No snow-capped trees, no children sledding happily down icy hills — no snow at all, as a matter of fact. We used to spray fake snow on our Christmas tree to create the illusion of winter. I can still smell it.

The one surefire way to make it feel like Christmas was music. Even if the air conditioning was on, you could still plug in the tree lights, crank up the record player (yes, I'm that old) and pretend people were bundled up and bustling around, doing wintry activities.

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My colleagues and I have each been asked to put together an hour of our favorite holiday music for broadcast during Christmas weekend.

I've never been any good at titles. Left to me, "The Great Gatsby" would have been called "Riding in Cars with Girls" or some such. I couldn't think of a title for Christopher Purdy's Christmas favorites — hmm, maybe that is a title — so Christmas with Christopher will have to do.

You're invited to share some time with me Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. I'll be playing an hour's worth of my favorites. Here, I'll tell you why some of these pieces are special to me.

color photo of clear wine glass and multicolored Christmas lights
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The days are getting shorter, the cold is setting in and the holiday hubbub is descending on us like the Grinch down hillside in his overburdened sled.

But don’t let the darkness get you down. Join me for the Holiday Happy Hour, Christmas Eve at noon and Christmas Day at 10 a.m. on Classical 101.

Classical 101 Holiday Special: An English Pastorale

Dec 18, 2017
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What I'm calling An English Pastorale is an hour of music I've selected that I hope will suit the mood of the holiday season without sticking exclusively to Christmas music. Think of it as a brief break from some of the familiar carols and tunes we hear so much this time of year.

An English Pastorale airs at 7 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24 and 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 25 on Classical 101.