Enjoy Christmas This Year With O Come, Little Children On CD and DVD
Relive the thrilling experience of last year’s Christmas concert with the release of O Come, Little Children, available on CD and DVD. (A companion book entitled The Little Match Girl, based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale, will be released on Tuesday, October 17.)
Seeing Christmas through a child’s eyes can be a powerful antidote to the rush of the Christmas season. The trappings that divert us from the true spirit of the Nativity are pushed aside by the simple faith and joy that children express at Christmastime. When children ponder the deeper meaning of Christmas—that Christ came to earth, like them, as a baby—their innocence and joy is an anchor for our celebrations.
These beautiful audio and video recordings from the concerts include favorite songs and carols from around the world that celebrate the birth of the Christ child. From the 18th-century German carol “O Come, Little Children” to the French song “Il est né” and the traditional Andalusian song “Campana Sobre Compana”—a favorite among Spanish-speaking children even today—the invitation is extended to everyone to join with children in reflecting on the Christmas message. Mack Wilberg’s processional based on “Carol of the Drum” similarly reverences a child’s offering at Christmas. With the toy-like charm of the Orchestra’s “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and the cinematic sweep of “Christmas Children” from the movie Scrooge, these recordings are a celebration of youthful wonder at Christmastime.
Culminating this youthful focus on Christmas, the retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl,” with a backdrop of original music by Mack Wilberg, reminds us that having the faith of a child and showing unremitting love will lift all who look heavenward for comfort and relief—no matter their circumstances. “It captures the importance of compassion, humanity, hope, and love,” remarked Rolando Villazón, the guest artist for last year’s concert. The story narration and music are included on both the CD and DVD. In addition to the story and illustrations in the book, there is a special link to watch and listen to the dramatization as recorded during the concerts.
"Rolando Villazón is one of the great singers of our time," said music director Mack Wilberg. Villazón, a Mexican-born acclaimed operatic tenor now living in France, filled the role of both vocal soloist and narrator for the concert and these recordings, bringing not only his deep admiration for his native Latin American culture but also his characteristic wonder and enthusiasm, which is reflected throughout the program.