Sunday / 18:00
Sunday / 18:00

Christmas Concert

Terminal Kultury Gocław, 24 Jana Nowaka-Jeziorańskiego Street
Orchestral concertsoff-premises


Andrzej Krzyżanowski flet
Zuzanna Elster harfa
Sinfonia Varsovia
Zofia Kiniorska

Programme [120']

Stanisław Moniuszko Fantastic overture Fairy Tale [8’]
Georg Friedrich Händel Overture from Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351 [9′]
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Andantino and Rondo. Allegro (mov. II and III) from Concerto for Flute and Harp in C major, KV 299 [19′]




Georg Friedrich Händel Pastoral Symphony (Pifa) from oratorio Messiah HWV 56 [3’]
Gustav Holst St. Paul’s Suite, Op. 29 no. 2 for string orchestra [12’]
I. Jig [3’]
II. Ostinato [2’]
III. Intermezzo [4’]
IV. Finale (The Dargason) [3’]
Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn Nutcracker Suite (arr. for orchestra Jeff Tyzik) [19’]
I. Overture [4′]
II. Toot Toot Tootie Toot (Dance of the Reed Pipes) [3′]
III. Dance of the Floreadors (Waltz of the Flowers) [4′]
IV. Sugar Rum Cherry (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy) [3′]
V. Peanut Brittle Brigade (March) [5′]
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Christmas Overture from incidental music to The Forest of Wild Thyme after Alfred Noyes, Op. 74 (arr. for orchestra Sydney Baynes) [5′]
Bohdana Frolyak Christmas Fantasy for orchestra (premiere) [6’]

The concert program will feature repertoire traditionally associated with Christmas and New Year’s Eve: from winter themes through carol and pastoral melodies to the aura of joyful celebration. We will hear classical orchestral music (by such composers as Handel, Mozart, Moniuszko, Holst, and Coleridge-Taylor), contemporary sounds of Christmas Fantasy by Ukrainian composer Bohdana Frolyak, and jazz arrangements of The Nutcracker by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. The repertoire chosen for the evening – different orchestral images – is meant to provide a moment of reflection and get the audience into a cheerful, pre-Christmas mood. 

We’ll start with fun in the snow, or the Fairy Tale overture (1848) by Stanisław Moniuszko, also known as The Winter’s Tale. At this year’s La Folle Journée festival, one young listener described the piece as “catching butterflies in the snow”. Let’s hope this year’s Christmas will have this unique snowy and fairytale character! Moniuszko’s work will be followed by Georg Friedrich Händel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749) – the ceremonial overture of the Baroque and royal music will set a solemn mood of Christmas.  

The rest of the program will focus on the opposition between the high and the low, which is typical for Christmas scenes. The flute (traditionally associated with shepherds) will be juxtaposed with the heavenly tones of the harp. These are instruments that still hold a special place in French music today. We will hear them in Mozart’s double concerto (1778), which has the charm of the Parisian salon for which it was written. Pastoral Symphony is the only instrumental excerpt – except for the overture – in Händel’s famous oratorio Messiah (1741). It introduces shepherds (which are still sleepy, hence the lullaby genre) just before the angels suddenly appear to announce “Glory to God in the highest”. This section of the program will conclude with Gustav Holst’s exuberant St. Paul’s Suite (1912/13), whose traditional tunes evoke the image of an English country celebration. It is worth noting that all three pieces are written in the key of C major – associated in the past with purity, innocence, and simplicity as well as royal majesty.  

The last part of the concert will feature music written especially for Christmas. In 1960, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn arranged the Nutcracker Suite for jazz orchestra. Sinfonia Varsovia will perform its orchestral version arranged by American conductor Jeff Tyzik. This will be followed by the symphonic Christmas Overture (1908) by a black British composer from the turn of the 20th century. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was inspired by old English carols and chimes of London’s Big Ben. The concert will conclude with Christmas Fantasy by Ukrainian composer Bohdana Frolyak (b. 1968). Written especially for Sinfonia Varsovia, the piece includes tunes from Ukrainian carols, while a trained ear will also recognize other Christmas inspirations.