Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Berlioz Ho Ho Ho



This weekend one of the choirs I sing with presented a program of seasonal music.  The selections included a sweet lullaby by William Byrd, Schönberg’s Friede auf Erde with its surprising and beautiful chromaticism, and The Shepherds’ Farewell from L’enfance du Christ by Hector Berlioz.

Berlioz.  I’ve talked about this interesting character before.  There is a great story associated with The Shepherds’ Farewell.  At the time people were…how shall I put this…not thrilled with Hector’s work.  Ok, a lot of people hated it, just his name being on it made them hate it.  So in 1850 he had The Shepherds’ Farewell performed but attributed it to some made-up 17th century composer named “Ducré.”

Well, they loved it.  One woman said, “Berlioz would never be able to write a tune as simple and charming as this little piece by old Ducré.” [1]

That must have been sucré [sweet].

Here is The Shepherds’ Farewell.

Here’s a brief commentary on L’enfance du Christ by Sir Colin Davis.



2 thoughts on “Berlioz Ho Ho Ho

  1. Six notes. Revenge of a nerd? Does that fit? You put a lot of ink on a lot of paper, and people go tut, tut, tut. I will lift some words from the lyrics… blest are ye beyond all measure…guard ye well your heavenly treasure. I see Scrooge McDuck in the vault, and instead of gold coins I see musical notes. Ho ho ho. La la la. Remember where you came from. Sublime.


  2. Paul Bannes discovered this video of a lovely trio from L’enfance du Christ for harp and flutes. Enjoy!–n5YJlBqFk


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