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Christmas Goes Baroque - A Musical Tour of Switzerland, Germany & Belgium

Bach / Handel / Vivaldi / Breiner
Release Date: 11/15/2011 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 2110546  
Composer:  Katherine K. DavisFranz Xaver GruberTraditionalJames Pierpont,   ... 
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 0 Hours 54 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Plenty of interesting content, well photographed, complements the musical arrangements of popular Christmas tunes.

Might as well get my grumble out of my system at the start, particularly as I enjoyed much of the photography, most of the locations and all the musical arrangements. It is just that the title could be deemed misleading as only two Chapters of the thirteen are not of Switzerland and two of the remaining eleven are not focused on Zurich. No problem though about the preponderance of Zurich.
 
Switzerland has existed as the world’s oldest democracy for some seven hundred years. It is the most linguistically and culturally diverse western European nation. Its diversity derives from its
Read more history; having experienced internal religious conflict, the Congress of Vienna guaranteed independence and neutrality in 1815. A new federal state of Cantons was formed in 1848 with Bern as the capital. The Cantons reflect cultural and linguistic variety. With borders with France, Germany and Italy these are the appropriate languages of the population who usually speak at least two along with English. The Romantsch dialect is also spoken by about one percent of its people. Zurich is the largest city, located at the north-western end of Lake Zurich, and has long been the industrial and banking centre of the country as well as a magnet for tourism. Its history includes being a centre of Protestantism.
 
It is on Zurich that the opening Chapters focus with views of the city streets at night dressed in resplendent Christmas decorations (CH.1). In the daylight, dusted in snow with a misty hue, the city looks less inviting albeit the bridge over the river Lammat and the mighty twin towers of the Cathedral are imposing (CH.2). The tradition of Christmas is central in December and the film visits the mechanical Father Christmas, a wonderful Christmas crib and the various toyshops with captivated children peering through the windows (CHs. 3-5). The great Minster, in all its internal magnificence appears to the melody of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen played in a baroque manner (CH.6). After brief visits to the Toy Museum in Nuremberg, a city well known as the centre of the German toy-making industry (CH.8), it’s back to Zurich to one of their leading toy emporia with a final visit to a window display of model trains zipping around snowy mountain scenery and model houses; captivating for the children, and, I do not doubt, their parents (CH.13). In between these last two visits, filming takes in a Brussels restaurant where seafood, not just moules and frites, is being prepared and where one can lust over the chocolates, not all Pralines (CH.10). Swiss winter landscapes (CH.12) and the Einsieden Monastery, an important centre of Catholic pilgrimage, are further diversions from Zurich. The monastery church is largely baroque in form (CH.11). The other interesting church visited is that at Engadine, a Romantsch-speaking district set in mountains and popular with visitors (CH.7). Both religious buildings have interesting frescoes and murals.
 
Each visit throughout this tour is accompanied by Baroque-type arrangements of mainly well-known Christmas music. Those chosen include Good King Wenceslas, The First Nowell, Jingle Bells, Silent Night and We Wish You A merry Christmas. With the arrangements being based on Baroque practice, brass is prominent but not overdone. Once or twice, as with O Tannenbaum (CH.12) the arrangement loses the underlying melody, for me at least.
 
-- Robert J Farr, MusicWeb International

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Picture format: NTSC 4:3
Sound format: PCM Stereo 2.0 / Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Running time: 54 mins
No. of DVDs: 1
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Works on This Recording

1.
Silent Night by Franz Xaver Gruber
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1818; Austria 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
2.
We wish you a merry Christmas by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 3 Minutes 25 Secs. 
3.
Jingle Bells by James Pierpont
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; USA 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 5 Minutes 5 Secs. 
4.
Kommet, ihr Hirten by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 4 Minutes 30 Secs. 
5.
Alle Jahre wieder by Friedrich Silcher
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Germany 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
6.
God rest ye merry, gentlemen by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 6 Minutes 45 Secs. 
7.
Kling Glöckchen, klingeling by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 4 Minutes 36 Secs. 
8.
The first nowell by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
9.
O du fröhliche by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 4 Minutes 36 Secs. 
10.
Jolly old Saint Nicolas by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
11.
Adeste fideles "O come, all ye faithful" by John Francis Wade
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1782; England 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
12.
Good King Wenceslas by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
13.
Musae Sioniae: Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen by Michael Praetorius
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1609; Germany 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 2 Minutes 48 Secs. 
14.
Prosae pastorales: Get up, shepherds by Edmund Pascha
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: Slovakia 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 6 Minutes 3 Secs. 
15.
The Little Drummer Boy "Carol of the Drum" by Katherine K. Davis
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; USA 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 1 Minutes 11 Secs. 
16.
O Tannenbaum by Traditional
Conductor:  Peter Breiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: Westphalia, Germany 
Date of Recording: 5/1989 
Venue:  House of Arts, Kosice 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Acoustically Heartwarming December 15, 2014 By M. Leib (Mechanicsburg, PA) See All My Reviews "Having traveled to Switzerland, this DVD shows the country enveloped in the holiday season with excellent musical accompianment. The orchestra is crystal clear and invigorating as the swiss air." Report Abuse
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