Christmas concerts across Scotland in 2012

Christmas concerts across Scotland in 2012

Carol concerts, choir recitals and Handel's Messiah

Christmas isn’t Christmas without carols. And, of course, The Messiah. That’s certainly what the evidence of this month’s listings would suggest. Carols by candlelight, carols for charity, carols with brass, orchestra, organ, carols for male choirs, female choirs, mixed choirs and soloists – the choice is endless in the run up to Christmas. New on the scene this year is Edinburgh Brass Band, who give their debut concert at St John’s in the West End, so a perfect location for some seasonal music as antidote to Princes St shopping. Sunday 16 December is choir-time marathon, with the National Museum of Scotland providing several in free performances in the afternoon, Rudsambee, again free of charge, in St Giles’ Cathedral early evening and soprano diva Lesley Garrett with the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union in the Usher Hall later on.

In Glasgow, the following week is alive with Christmas sounds night after night, with Jingle Bell Christmas bringing upbeat numbers like ‘Let it Snow’ and ‘Santa Baby’ to the Royal Concert Hall. Even Welsh soprano Katherine Jenkins appears in a mid-week Christmas show-stealer.

Handel’s Messiah can be heard this festive season in two versions. Dunedin Consort give their acclaimed interpretation with small numbers and original instruments pre-Christmas and Edinburgh Royal Choral Union give their annual New Year performance at the Usher Hall, something they have done for 126 years, so it should be good. Take a picnic for the interval.

If, however, you say bah humbug to all Christmas music, then head for Red Note and The End of the World, in a one-off, site-specific music theatre performance about the predicted apocalypse on 21 December. There is only space for 100, so if sold-out – and it turns out not to be the end of the world – there’s plenty more music to choose from coming up in 2013.

Dunedin Consort: Handel's Messiah

The Dunedin Consort's rendering of Handel's landmark oratorio has received rave reviews over the years, and the consort's 2006 recording of it won a Gramophone award. Here the ensemble gives its annual performance of the work, led by director John Butt.

Edinburgh Royal Choral Union: Messiah

The Union's annual performance of Handel's oratorio is, after 128 years, an Edinburgh institution. Featuring instrumental support from Edinburgh Pro Musica Orchestra.

Raymond Gubbay: Christmas Classics with Lesley Garrett

The celebrated soprano stars in an evening of seasonal music, accompanied by the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, conducted by Paul Bateman.

St Giles' at Six: Rudsambee

Christmas choral music.

Raymond Gubbay Christmas Festival with Katherine Jenkins

Crossover singer in a seasonal concert of carols and showtunes.

Edinburgh Brass Band Christmas Concert

Join Edinburgh's brass band for its annual Christmas concert of festive favourites, movie music and traditional tunes. Don't forget that no brass band concert would be complete without the traditional post-concert pint with the band.

Christmas Choirs

Seasonal tunes in the Grand Gallery, from local choirs.

Red Note: Hymn of Thanks

Red Note's string quartet plays music by candlelight, announced as 'meditative' but perhaps 'tear-your-heart-out sad' might be a better description, including the haunting fifth movement of Gorecki's Quartet No 3' … songs are sung', Takemitsu's A Way a lone, the adagio from Beethoven's String Quartet No 15 Op 32, and Arvo…