If you are in Rome during the festive season this year, the Christmas Concert at Oratorio del Caravita ought to be on your list of celebratory to-dos. Accompanied by a piano and a string quartet, a tenor and a soprano present favourite tunes that encompass several centuries of musical history and numerous genres. What keeps the programme together is the indubitable Christmas cheer and the performers’ talent and joy. In the heart of the Eternal City, a splendid concert celebration unfolds in the wake of the most awaited and important Christian holiday with the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George Frideric Handel, Johann Pachelbel, Johann Strauss, Felix Mendelssohn, and John Lennon, among other famous and beloved household names.
The Christmas Concert at the Baroque Caravita Church has two parts. The first one tends slightly more towards the classical. You can tune your ears to the ornate melodies of the Baroque and Classical periods, with Mozart, Handel, Pachelbel, and Mendelssohn each making prominent appearances in the programme. Lesser known but just as gifted and important composers, such as François Couperin, Adolphe Adam, and Giulio Caccini, also receive a celebratory nod in Part I of the concert, making it an enjoyable trip back in history, following the red thread of pious, festive, sacred music through the centuries.
Part II comes in with a decidedly more modern and familiar feel. ‘The Blue Danube’ by Johann Strauss the Son opens the programme on an uplifting note. Classic Christmas carols like ‘Silent Night’ by Franz Xaver Gruber and ‘White Christmas’ by Irving Berlin as well as the popular anthem ‘War Is Over’ by John Lennon brings the performance into modern times. A double feature of ‘Jingle Bells’ by James Lord Pierpont and the rousing ‘Radetzky March’ by Johann Strauss the Father round off the evening and make the Christmas Concert at the historic Oratorio del Caravita in Rome a colourful, memorable, utterly enjoyable holiday experience.