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Christmas classics

Think of the beauty and pageantry of Christmas music. Think of Arcangelo Corelli and his soulful "Christmas Concerto." Think of Bach.

Think of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus' "Classical Christmas," taking place today and Saturday in Kleinhans Music Hall.

BPO Resident Conductor Robert Franz, fresh from conducting "The Nutcracker," leads the orchestra in this tribute to great Christmas classics. Music by Bach is on the program, and so is Corelli's "Christmas Concerto."

The program also includes two movements from Franz Liszt's "Christus," a rarely heard masterpiece. "It's part of Liszt's later-life music," Franz says. "It's when when he stopped being a man about town and became a devout Catholic. This is lush, romantic, exquisite music."

On the lighter side, the concert includes "Little Bolero Boy," which is "Little Drummer Boy" set to a bolero beat. "It's really fun," Franz says. Traditional tunes include "O Holy Night," "Silent Night," "Ave Maria" and "Jesu Bambino." Leann Coble and Todd Teske are featured vocal soloists.

Catch the concert at 10:30 a.m. today, as part of the orchestra's Coffee Concerts series, or at 8 p.m. Saturday. For information, call 885-5000.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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