It was Christmas morning, and the wife of Richard Wagner awoke to the sound of 13 musicians gathered on the staircase outside the bedroom, playing a new composition—a gift from her husband, and named for their infant son, who had brought them so much joy in the past year.
Their child’s name was Siegfried, and Wagner’s Christmas gift was the Siegfried Idyll.
Other holiday presents include Edvard Grieg’s song “I Love You,” Debussy’s Iberia, and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, as well as Christmas vocal and instrumental pieces by Mendelssohn, Liszt, and Sibelius.
In the next hour, composers' musical gifts for family and friends—and ultimately for music lovers around the world.
|Humperdinck: Hansel und Gretel||Munich Radio Orchestra, Kurt Eichorn||RCA Red Seal 74321-25281-2||743212528121|
|Wagner: Siegfried-Idyll & Orchestral Music from Operas||Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer||EMI Classics 5 67893 2||724356789326|
|Mendelssohn: Piano Works Vol. 2||Robert Frith||Naxos 8.550940||730099594028|
|Sibelius: Complete Works for Mixed Choir [for “A Christmas Song” & “High are the Snowdrifts”]||Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Heikki Seppänen||Ondine ODE 260-2D||0761195126028|
|Schumann [for 2nd of 3 Romances for piano]||Jan Lisiecki||Deutsche Grammophon 479 5327 2||00028947953272|
|Debussy: La Mer, Iberia [for Iberia: Festival Morning]||National Orchestra of France, Emmanuel Krivine||Erato 9029568704||0190295687045|
|Liszt: Weihnachtsbaum, Via Crucis [for “The Shepherds at the Crib” from The Christmas Tree suite]||Leslie Howard||Hyperion CDA66388||034571163888|
|Con Amore [for Elgar’s La Capricieuse “The Capricious One”]||Kyung Wha Chung, Phillip Moll||Decca 417 289-2||028947826606|
|Grieg: Songs [for “Jeg elsker Dig” (I Love You)]||Anne Sofie von Otter, Bengt Forsberg||Deutsche Grammophon
477 632 6
|We Wish You A Merry Christmas [for Alfred Burt medley “A Christmas Greeting”]||Tanglewood Festival Chorus & Boston Pops Orchestra, John Williams||Philips 416 287-2||028941628725|