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Jeff Tyzik

Publisher: G. Schirmer

The Twelve Gifts of Christmas (for high voice and orchestra) (1998)
Macaroni Music
Soloists and Orchestra
Year Composed
10 Minutes
soprano [=tenor]
Programme Note
Jeff Tyzik The Twelve Gifts of Christmas (for high voice and orchestra) (1998)
Related works:
   The Twelve Gifts of Christmas (for high voice and orchestra)
   The Twelve Gifts of Christmas (for low voice and orchestra)

A joyful and wonderfully inventive variant on a traditional holiday favorite. This orchestral celebration of "The Twelve Days" presents individual instrumental sections of the orchestra, the full symphonic orchestra, and finally music itself as the twelve "gifts" that are proffered by one's true love. Each section displays its wares by playing excerpts from recognizable classics of Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Rimsky-Korsakov and others. The Twelve Gifts of Christmas is entertaining holiday fun for young and old alike.

Jeff Tyzik's Twelve Gifts of Christmas is simply terrific — one of the best-scored, most effective Holiday Pops arrangements I've ever come across. Tyzik's arrangements are always energetic and imaginative, but this one may be his best yet. Its starting point is the traditional "Twelve Days of Christmas," using either soprano or tenor solo and full orchestra.

Each gift/day is a section of the orchestra: "a glockenspiel and a bell tree," "two clarinets," "three French Horns," "four double reeds," "five golden strings," "six mellow cellos," and so on. Each new gift has its own musical quotation, a delightful assortment which includes Capriccio Espagnol, Tchaikovsky's Fourth, Beethoven's Fifth, Brahms' First, the Nutcracker, Eine kleine Nachtmusik and even the Westminster Chimes. The audience members who knew the quotes laughed out loud, and those who didn't still understood the illustrations. The orchestra loved playing (and the parts and score are crystal clear — a real plus on limited rehearsal time). Music appreciation, sophisticated humor, a guided tour of the instruments of the orchestra and a fresh new version of a beloved classic, all gift-wrapped in a holiday package.

The Twelfth Gift was "Music: the greatest gift of all," and the audience roared its approval.

Steve Larsen, conductor, ,01/01/0001
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