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.