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Video of the Week:

Vivaldi's Christmas Concerto, from the Kreeger Museum
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Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg

Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher, impresario, and Roman Catholic priest Antonio Vivaldi

Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg

The Mystical Nativity, from the turn of the 16th century by the Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli,

Antonio Vivaldi and the holiday season go together like hot cocoa and marshmallows in the minds of many a music lovers present company included. His “Winter” Concerto from The Four Seasons is as much a staple of the season as exchanging gifts with loved ones or cozying up by the fire. See our recent post featuring Rachell Ellen Wong’s dazzling performance of the fan favorite.

But today we share a lesser known, but still magnificent work by the Venetian master that’s even more appropriate for the season – the Violin Concerto in E major, RV 270 subtitled ll riposo, per il Santissimo Natale, and more commonly called his “Christmas Concerto.”  It’s firmly in the tradition of Italian composers inserting a gentle Nativity scene into an otherwise-standard Baroque concerto format, creating the subgenre of the “Christmas Concerto.” The lilting final movement of Arcangelo Corelli’s Concerto Grosso Op. 6. No. 8 being the most noteworthy example. 

This performance comes from a 2019 Heifetz Holiday Tour appearance at the Kreeger Museum of Art in Washington, DC. Angela Sin Ying Chan is the soloist,  joined by Heifetz alums Julia Angelov and Kayleigh Kim, violins; Matt Cohen, viola, and Andres Sanchez, cello. Kayleigh’s introduction to the piece is a wonderful encapsulation of what a “Christmas Concerto” is all about.

Be sure to tune in on December 23rd as Angela and Andres return to the join us to present the Heifetz Virtual Holiday Homecoming Concert!