6 Classical Songs for Christmas and the Holidays

6 Classical Songs for Christmas and the Holidays

Christmas has inspired compositions of all styles. This year, take a break from traditional carols and check out Christmas music from the classical greats. From multi-movement orchestral pieces to simple choral arrangements; somber religious songs to seasonally inspired works; these 6 pieces are sure to brighten your holiday season.

J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio

This baroque masterpiece features a full symphony and choral performances. The full oratorio is in 6 parts, each a cantata arranged for traditional feasting days during the Christmas season.

Handel: Messiah, "Hallelujah Chorus"

Frequently performed on Good Friday, this three-part oratorio is most famous for its "Hallelujah Chorus". Originally a more modest arrangement, the Messiah has grown in size and scope since its composition in 1741.

Holst: "In the Bleak Midwinter"

A stunning choral work based on an English poem. Holst, famous for his "Planets" suite, composed the piece in 1906.

Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Overture

From "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" to "Nutcracker March", Tchaikovsky's entire Nutcracker suite could be on this list. We're partial to the somewhat overlooked opening overture for its joyous feel.

Vivaldi: Four Seasons Suite, "Winter"

While not specifically about Christmas, this Italian baroque masterwork is undeniably linked to chilly December. 

Liszt: Christmas Tree Suite

A suite of 12 pieces written for piano. The suite includes familiar melodies of famous carols along with entirely original compositions by Liszt. 
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