Thursday 12 December

Christmas Lunchtime

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Time 1:05pm
National Concert Hall Dublin

Tickets: €15

  • John Finucane
  • Simon Morgan
  • Presented by Liz Nolan
    RTÉ lyric fm
  • Korngold

    The Snowman Overture

  • Davis arr. Kennedy

    The Little Drummer Boy

  • Rebikov

    Christmas Tree Waltz

  • Kelehan

    A Christmas Fantasy

  • Tormé arr. Riddle 

    The Christmas Song

  • Morley


  • Anderson

    Sleigh Ride

  • John Williams

    ‘Harry’s Wondrous World’ from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

There’s a snow-covered world of enchantment to be explored in our second Christmas lunchtime concert as, with the able assistance of RTÉ lyric fm’s Liz Nolan presenting live on stage, we take a musical sleigh ride into seasonal magic and fantasy.

The Overture to the 11-year-old Korngold’s lush and luxurious ballet-pantomime The Snowman is as delightfully animated as the story it tells of merry-making and mischief. Going to the very heart of the Christmas story, Katherine Kennicott Davis’ The Little Drummer Boy (first recorded by the Trapp Family Singers) is a touching tale of a child ushered into the Nativity where he offers the new-born Christchild the only gift he has: a gently stirring march played on his drum.

The Waltz from Vladimir Rebikov’s opera The Christmas Tree and Noel Kelehan’s A Christmas Fantasy are altogether bewitching concoctions, one blending the fantasy of Hans Christian Andersen and lilting romance of Johann Strauss, the other a gorgeous traditional take on seasonal themes.

Better known as Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, Bob Wells and Mel Tormé’s The Christmas Song is a beautifully relaxed meditation on the wonder, comfort, excitement and joy of Christmastime for the child in all of us.

Angela Morley’s evocative Snowride and Leroy Anderson’s jaunty, perennially popular Sleigh Ride offer two carefree opportunities to glide and canter through snowy landscapes as Christmas Day gets ever closer.

There’s a Christmas magic and message, too, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the tale of an orphaned wizard using his new-found powers for good that captured the imagination of a young readers and film-goers everywhere. ‘Harry’s Wondrous World’ thrillingly opens up a vast vista of adventure and fantasy.