Studio Nibelheim: Christmas with Roberta Alexander

This year’s guest in the Studio Nibelheim Christmas special is soprano Roberta Alexander. She tells about her memories of Christmas in Xenia, Ohio, where she grew up, and makes a rich choice of her favourite Christmas music. From spirituals to Händels Messiah, some Judy, Jussi and a nice portion of soulful ‘Hallelujah’.

There was always music in the Alexander household in Ohio, with a singing mother and a father who lead the Robert Alexander Chorale. The Messiah was sung, of course, as well as spirituals. No gospel, that came later in her life, tells Roberta Alexander in this podcast. If you listen well, you can hear the sparkle in her voice when she talks about the presents she found as a child under the Chrismas tree.

For this podcast Ms. Alexander, who is introduced with her Barber recording, chose a song by Judy Garland from a favourite movie and a spiritual by Kathleen Battle with the Orchestra of St. Lukes, ‘Rise up, Sheperd and follow’. Eileen Farrell is remembered with the ‘Coventry Carol‘ and we hear Janine de Bique sing ‘Rejoice Greatly’. The recording of ‘Oh Holy Night’ by Jussi Björling made a big impression and Roberta tells how a modern version of ‘Hallellujah’ made her father grin from ear to ear.

You can listen to the podcast on this page and download it. Subscribing to the Studio Nibelheim podcasts can be done in iTunes or Soundcloud. For Android there is the Google Podcasts app. Studio Nibelheim can be found on Spotify, where you also find earlier editions.

(Photo homepage: Swinkels van Hees)

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De auteur

François van den Anker

François van den Anker

François van den Anker is muziekjournalist. Hij doet verslag van de wereld van opera en lied met interviews, reportages en podcasts.