A Romantic Christmas

ABC Classics 476 4689

This disc features two major works and a string of gems with a Christmas theme. Sergei Taneyev was a close confidant of Tchaikovsky's and a trusted colleague who gave him fearless advice that the composer trusted and dreaded. He made a brilliant and pianistically virtuosic arrangement of The Nutcracker in 1892 at the time of the first performance and Stephanie McCallum has extracted and adapted the pieces as Tchaikovsky did in his first Orchestral Suite from the ballet. Liszt Weihnachtsbaum was written for his grandaughter, Daniella, daughter of Cosima by her first husband, Hans Von Bulow. It dates from his later years and the twelve pieces in the cycle feature engaging imaginative arrangements alongside innovative and forward looking pieces that anticipate twentieth century approaches to tonality and the textural inventions of Impressionism. The disc opens with an arrangement by Egon Petri, of whom Stephanie is a "grand-pupil" of Bach's "Sheep may safely graze" and also features Percy Grainger's transcription of the Sussex Mummers' Carol, and an impish and ingenious arrangement of Jingle Bells by Chinese Australian, Julian Yu.


1.JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750) transcribed for piano by EGON PETRI (1881-1962) - Sheep May Safely Graze

2-9.PYOTR IL’YICH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) transcribed for piano by SERGEI TANEYEV (1856-1915), adapted from the complete ballet as The Nutcracker Suite:



Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy


Arabian Dance

Chinese Dance

Dance of the Reed-Pipes

Waltz of the Flowers

10.PERCY GRAINGER (1882-1961) The Sussex Mummers' Christmas Carol

11.ERNO DOHNANYI (1877-1960) Pastorale (on the Hungarian Christmas song ‘The angel is from heaven’)

12-14.Three Romantic Carols:

PYOTR IL’YICH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Weihnachten

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856) transcribed for piano by Liszt Melodie (Cantique de Noel)

FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886) Weihnachtslied

15-26.FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886) Weihnachtsbaum (complete)

Altes Weihnachtslied (Old Christmas Carol)

O heilige Nacht! (O Holy Night)

Die Hirten an der Krippe (The Shepherds at the Manger) – Good Christian Men Rejoice

Adeste Fideles – Oh Come all ye Faithful: Gleichsam also Marsch der heiligen drei Könige (March of the three wise men)

Altes Provenzalisches Weihnachtslied (Ancient Provençal Christmas Carol)

Abendglocken (Evening Bells)

Scherzoso: Man zündet die Kerzen des Baumes an. (Lighting the candles on the Christmas tree)

Glockenspiel (Carillon)

Schlummerlied (Slumber Song)

Ehemals (Formerly)

Ungarisch (in Hungarian style)

Polnisch (in Polish style)

27.JULIAN YU (1957-) Jangled Bells