With the decade coming to a close the Wise Music catalog of holiday favorites continues to grow, expanding our legacy as publishers of such works as Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, Howard Blake's The Snowman, and Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite. This season, two new pieces — Lior Rosner's Sugar Plum on the Run and Rachel Portman's Mimi and the Mountain Dragon — stake their claim as festive favorites in-the-making.
'Sugar Plum on the Run'
Out now on Sony Classical is Lior Rosner's Sugar Plum on the Run, a re-imagining of Tchaikovsky's beloved Nutcracker, featuring narration by the legendary actor Jeremy Irons and performances by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Scott Dunn.
Watch the trailer | Listen on Spotify | Buy/stream the CD | View the score
The album also features an orchestral set of variations on the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, perhaps the best-known movement from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and Rosner's main source of inspiration for Sugar Plum on the Run.
Listen on Spotify | View the score
'Mimi and the Mountain Dragon'
An original score by Rachel Portman accompanies the new animated adaptation of Sir Michael Morpurgo's children's book Mimi and the Mountain Dragon. Its television premiere takes place at 3.15pm GMT on Thursday 26th December (Boxing Day) on BBC One. The broadcast will have an introduction from Morpurgo, who will also narrate the animation. The music will be performed by the BBC Philharmonic under Scott Dunn, featuring singers from the Hallé's family of choirs and the award-winning jazz vocalist Claire Martin, and the soundtrack will be released on Decca the same day as the broadcast.
Based on Morpurgo's children's book and its original illustrations by Emily Gravett, the story has been adapted for the screen by novelist, poet, and playwright, Owen Sheers. The story is of a village living in fear of the mighty Mountain Dragon. One winter, a shy little girl called Mimi finds a baby dragon asleep in the family woodshed. Mimi takes the perilous journey through blizzard and darkness to return the baby dragon to her mother, whom all the villagers fear.
"My intention was to create a musical narrative of Mimi and the Mountain Dragon much in the tradition of Prokofiev's Peter and The Wolf. The story is told in music by the orchestra, together with narration and the wonderful addition of Factory's animation," Portman says of the project.
Both works are available for live performance. For more information on either project, please contact Tom Sweet: Tom.Sweet@wisemusic.com