A Ceremony of Carols

As the Holidays quickly approach, we'll get in the mood with Benjamin Britten's mesmerizing "A Ceremony of Carols." Don't expect the usual suspects, however — these carols use Middle-English texts, made all the more medieval sounding by Britten's sparse (yet novel) choral writing.

Before that, the saxophone starts off the evening in Debussy's Rhapsody for Saxophone and Orchestra with Kenneth Radnofsky and the New York Phil; we'll also hear from saxman Gary Louie and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra in Alec Wilder's Suite No. 2 for Sax and Strings. Emanuel Ax takes us through the later hours with Haydn's Piano Sonata No. 31, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra essays Respighi's colorful "Botticelli Triptych."