The BBC Music Magazine festive quiz
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… 30 festive-themed questions to answer!
Christmas is coming…
1. Who began composing Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, his concerto for percussion and orchestra, on the first Sunday of Advent in 1991?
2. Which choir’s Advent Carol Service is traditionally broadcast on BBC Radio 3 every year?
In whose 1895 opera Christmas Eve does the blacksmith Vakula hare o last-minute to St Petersburg in the quest for a pair of boots?
4. Whose 1926 masque On Christmas Night was written to accompany a ballet based on Dickens’s A Christmas Carol?
5. Which eponymous 1892 opera character, having shot himself in his study on Christmas Night, dies to the sound of children singing ‘Noël’?
Remember the date
Which works commonly associated with Christmas were first performed on the following dates?
6. 13 April 1742, The Great Music Hall, Fishamble Street, Dublin
7. 25 December 1734 – 6 January 1735, St Thomas and St Nicholas churches, Leipzig
8. 18 December 1892, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
9. 1 February 1896, Teatro Regio, Turin
10. 5 December 1942 in the library at Norwich Castle (first version) and 4 December 1943 at Wigmore Hall, London (completed version)
Let it snow
Four composers have made their way into our wintry scene (above right). Can you name them?
Questions 11. to 14.
Name that tune
15. In which famous aria from Dvorûák’s opera Rusalka does the eponymous heroine declare to its addressee her love for the Prince?
16. Name the dramatic Old Testamentbased cantata by William Walton that was first performed at the Leeds Festival on 8 October 1931?
17. By what seasonal nickname is Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony o en referred to?
18. Which 1867 tone poem by Musorgsky was later arranged by Leopold Stokowski (pictured below) for the 1940 Walt Disney film Fantasia?
19. One word from each of the four answers from Questions 15-18 appears in the first verse of a well-known carol. What is the carol in question?
Put the decorations up
20. How many ‘la’s are sung by the top line in the first verse of Deck the Halls (no ‘fa’s, please…)?
21. Where might you traditionally hear the tune to ‘O Christmas Tree’ (‘O Tannenbaum’) sung by a gathering of thousands on a Wednesday a ernoon in late-september/early October every year?
22. Whose Shakespeare-inspired masque The Fairy Queen was first performed in London on 2 May 1692?
23. The Shaker song Simple Gi!s plays a prominent role in which Copland ballet?
24. What is the correct title of the carol that begins with the line ‘Now the holly bears a berry…’?
25. Where was Spanish soprano Sabina Puértolas at the beginning of 2018 when she unexpectedly received a call from the Royal Opera House urgently asking her to come and sing the part of Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto?
26. In April, London’s Kings Place staged Slow Pixel, an audio-visual work performed by 176 of what type of creature?
27. On 1 May 2018, which famous vocal group celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first professional performance?
28. Can you name the Russian soprano who duetted with singer Robbie Williams at the opening of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow?
29. Who returned a er an absence of 18 years to conduct his 12th Last Night of the Proms in September?
30. Which Catalan operatic superstar died at the age of 85 on 6 October?
How do you think you did? Are you a shining star or perhaps a bit of a Christmas pudding? Turn to page 120 for the answers
Nightly song: Kristine Opolais as Dvorûák’s Rusalka (Question 17)
Loving angels: Robbie Williams …and who? (Question 28)
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