Soir d’Hiver: The Spectacular Modernist Christmas SPECTACULAR!

The Adoration of the Magi, by Emil Nolde (1933)

We’re back with our tenth episode. Musicologist Jill Rogers (University College Cork) joins host Matthew Friedman for a holiday special exploring how modernist and avant-garde composers have marked Christmas in their music since the early 20th century. Whether mobilizing patriotic sentiment in 1914, or trying to find a space for the sacred in the rubble of war, and the shadow of the Holocaust, modernist and avant-garde composers of the 20th century reflected the often dark, always complicated spirit of their times, while marking a season of contemplation and the promise of redemption.

This episode features music by Claude Debussy, Nadia Boulanger, Benjamin Britten, Krzysztof Penderecki, Francis Poulenc, and Peter Maxwell Davies.

Avant-Garde Holiday SPECTACULAR!


After a much-longer than expected hiatus, No Sounds Are Forbidden will return on 18 December for a very special Avant-Garde Holiday Spectacular that will be, well… spectacular! With special guest Dr. Jill Rogers of University College Cork, Matthew Friedman will explore how the most adventurous composers of the 20th and 21st centuries celebrated the holidays or, often enough, didn’t. Tune in on H-Net and iTunes to hear great holiday music by Krzysztof Penderecki, Olivier Messiaen, John Adams, Sir Peter Maxwell  Davies, and much more! We’re not kidding.