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A Very Classical Christmas

A Very Classical Christmas
JoAnn Falletta and the BPO celebrate Christmas in style

This weekend, music director JoAnn Falletta will return to the podium in Kleinhans to conduct the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in a pair of classical Christmas music concerts on Friday at 10:30am and Saturday at 8pm. It is a safe bet that for classical music purists these concerts are the most eagerly anticipated events of the Christmas music season.

JoAnn Falletta

Violinist Dennis Kim, who assumed the all-important orchestral post of concertmaster this season, has already amply demonstrated his ability to fill the musical shoes of his talented predecessor, Michael Ludwig, as the leader of the orchestra. These concerts, however, will offer the Buffalo audience the first opportunity to hear Kim as a soloist, when he is featured in Vivaldi’s Concerto No.4, ‘L’inverno’ (winter), from the Four Seasons for Violin and Orchestra. The other big work on the program is the Tableau I - L’Hiver (winter) from Russian composer Alexander Glazunov’s music for the ballet The Seasons, composed in 1899 for the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg, a piece characterized by its memorably expansive main theme.

The orchestra will also perform Humperdinck’s sublime Evening Prayer from his opera Hansel and Gretel, the Polonaise from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Christmas Eve, the ever-popular Farandole from Bizet’s L’Arlésienne Suite No.1, and the Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams, while BPO saxophonist Sal Andolina is featured in Jeff Tyzik’s version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

The BPO Chorus is featured in Mendelssohn’s Die Geburt Christi, from his oratorio Christus, Bach’s Jachzet Frohlocket from his Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Randol Bass’s Fanfare: Joy to the World, Leroy Anderson’s A Christmas Festival, Jerry Herman’s “We Need A Little Christmas”, and, of course, the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

Audience members may also wish to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the BPO’s month-long Toys for Tots drive.

Information: 885-5000 or

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