Christmas is here! Raise a glass, pull a cracker and enjoy. Lord knows, we need a day of fun. Thank you all for following this series.
It was exactly 150 years ago today that Cosima Wagner awoke on Christmas morning 1870 to hear fifteen musicians on the stairs giving the inaugural performance of the (originally titled) Tribschen Idyll, referencing the location near Lucerne. It was a birthday present from her husband Richard, who conducted a small ensemble of the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, while the conductor Hans Richter had learnt the trumpet especially for the occasion.
I am surely not the only person to have tried to have pictured what it must have been like to have been there, and to have imagined just how uplifting the experience would have been.
In this way, although the Siegfried Idyll is not a religious piece, it possesses a touch of the divine that makes it perfect to mark Christmas Day, and more than justifies our decision to continue our Advent Calendar for an extra day when strictly it should have finished on 24th December.
For our readers who are not Wagner fans, our first suggestion is that this may well be the piece that converts you.
Failing that, we offer the alternative of Beethoven’s Septet in E flat, Op. 20, which was also played on that same Christmas Day in Tribschen.
Whatever your musical preferences, we hope you have found much to enjoy and inspire you in our 2020 Advent Calendar, and from all of us at musicOMH we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.