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Dgreetings » Gift Ideas » Christmas Gifts » Christmas Music » Russian Christmas Music

Russian Christmas Music

Written by Alfred Reed in 1994, Russian Christmas music is basically a musical piece for a symphonic band. One of the most popular music pieces, Russian Christmas music is often performed at Christmas concerts. There is an interesting incident responsible for the composition of Russian Christmas music.

Alfred Reed was asked to compose a piece of “Russian Christmas music” for some concert in Denver, Colorado. The main aim of this concert
was improvement in Soviet and America's relationship and hence the concert included premieres of America as well as Soviet's artist's works. Prokofiev's March, was supposed to be included in the concert but it came into notice that it had already been performed in USA and hence Reed was asked to write a new composition within a span of mere sixteen days before the concert.

The first performance of Russian Christmas music happened on December 12, 1944 on the NBC radio and gained much popularity. Though there is only one movement in Russian Christmas music, it can be divided into four main sections.

Carol Of The Little Russian Children
This is the opening section of Russian Christmas music and is based on a 16th century Russian Christmas carol, with an approximate length of 3 minutes. Bells and tuba after which the clarinets play the melody open it. After some time some other voices join in and an end is brought to the first part with a series of chords.

The Antiphonal Chant
Faster and louder as compared to the first section of the Russian Christmas music, the antiphonal chant is carried by the trombones, cornets and trumps. After some time the woodwinds join in because of which the music becomes all the more frenzied till the end.

The Village Song

This section of the Russian Christmas music is much more gentler as compared to the previous section. The length of the section is about 5 minutes and comprise of two solos of ‘English horn’. Initially the piece enters a time signature of 6/4 followed by the band playing a series of cantabile two-bar phrases between the woodwinds and brass.

The Cathedral Chorus

The last section of the Russian Christmas music is termed as the cathedral chorus and lasts for about 5 minutes. It begins as soon as the village songs come to an end. The music played builds a climax but breaks in the middle for a final chorale in the woodwinds.

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