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International Holidays

Can you guess this piece? Here's a hint: Christmas night owls

At the time Carl Haffner first translated the comic play entitled Le Réveillon, he realized that this peculiarly French custom would be lost on his intended audience. In France, the midnight service on Christmas Eve is traditionally followed by a meal called “Le Réveillon,” during which many cafes and restaurants are open all night to serve their patrons. The meal is often made up of oysters, sausages, wine, ham, roast fowl, salads, fruits and pastries. The next day, all the family comes together to see what gifts Father Christmas left in the children’s shoes. When the play was adapted for this particular opera, the French Christmas custom of Le Réveillon was replaced by something more familiar to Viennese audiences, a splendid ball!

Music Heard On This Episode

Bedrich Smetana: Bartered Bride Overture
Chicago Symphony Orch/Fritz Reiner — Dvorak; Smetana; Weinberger (RCA, 1995)
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Bedrich Smetana: Bartered Bride Overture
Chicago Symphony Orch/Fritz Reiner — Dvorak; Smetana; Weinberger (RCA, 1995)
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Johann Sebastian Bach: Exult, rejoice, praise on the days
Amstedam Baroque Orchestra and Choir/Ton Koopman — Christmas Oratorio (Elektra / Wea, 1996)
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Felix Mendelssohn: Christmas Pieces
James Galway, flute/Munich Radio Orchestra — In Dulci Jubilo (RCA, 1991)
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Leroy Anderson: Sleigh Ride
Boston Pops Orch — The Best of Leroy Anderson (Mca, 1997)
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Michael Praetorius: Lo, how a rose ere blooming
Baltimore Consort — Bright Day Star: Music for the Yuletide Season (Dorian Recordings, 2009)
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Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia On Greensleeves
Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields — Fantasia On Greensleeves, Etc. (Decca, 1997)
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Pietro Locatelli: Concerto in f minor
Tafelmusik; Jeanne Lamon — A Baroque Feast / Festin Baroque (Analekta, 2007)
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Olivier Messiaen: Regard de I'Esprit de joie
Haakon Austbö — Vingt Regards Sur L'Enfant Jesus (Naxos, 2009)
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Victor Herbert: March of the Toys
Razumovsky Symphony — Babes in Toyland; The Red Mill (Naxos American, 1999)
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Francis Poulenc: Videntes Stellam; Hodie Christus natus est
Cambridge Singers — Sacred Music: Gloria (Collegium, 2003)
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Johann Strauss Jr: Die Fledermaus: Overture
Royal Concertgebouw Orch/Nikolaus Harnoncourt — Johann Strauss in Berlin (Elektra / Wea, 1999)
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Arnold Bax: Christmas Eve on the mountain
London Philharmonic/Bryden Thomson — Orchestral Works, Vol. 5 (Chandos, 2003)
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Traditional Ukrainian: Carol of the Bells
Canadian Brass — The Christmas Album (Philips, 1990)
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