Jeremy Budd’s light tenor made an ideal evangelist though a little underpowered in the arias, while Anna Dennis shone throughout, especially in Flößt, mein Heiland, the “echo” aria, shared between soprano and oboe. Certainly, this latest production has much going for it, whether on CD, DVD, or Blu-ray. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Bach: Christmas Oratorio - Jan Willem de Vriend, Cappella Amsterdam, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam on AllMusic - 2007 J.S. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. Released as part of the Live From London Christmas Festival, these digital performances (recorded in the November gap between lockdowns) burst with the urgency of musicians who haven’t played in months. Thank you for visiting Gramophone and making use of our archive of more than 50,000 expert reviews, features, awards and blog articles. There are numerous good recordings of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio to choose from, but this new one from Stuttgart has special things going for it. How to watch Inauguration Day 2021 in the UK to see Joe Biden sworn in, Vaccine roll-out set to prioritise teachers, police and frontline workers to cut transmission, What time Joe Biden's inauguration starts, the full schedule, and how to watch from the UK, Here's when the new lockdown measures in England could end, and how they'll be reviewed, Butch lesbian opens up about 'increasing harassment' she faces when using the public toilets. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. From the first, Bach regarded it as an oratorio, one which was performed in six parts. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? It celebrates not only Christmas but also New Year and Epiphany. The Christmas Oratorio consists of six parts which starts with the story of Christ’s birth, and then follows the biblical narrative through the adoration of the shepherds and the Magi. Towards the end of J. S. Bach 's career, around 1734 and 1735, the great man composed three large-scale choral works for major feasts - the Christmas Oratorio, the Ascension Oratorio and the Easter Oratorio. Bach wrote his Christmas Oratorio for performance in church during the Christmas season of 1734. And although it offered different pleasures from the multifaceted approach of the main festival, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort’s pared-down reading of Bach ’s Christmas Oratorio was just as joyful and just as invigorating. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio isn’t really an oratorio at all, but a set of six cantatas to cover the six days from Christmas to the Epiphany, including New Year’s Day. Each part is a cantata for 1 of 6 feast days within the 12 days of the Christmas season: The story begins with the birth of Jesus (for Christmas Day). Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. Albrecht Dürer's 'Paumgartner Altarpiece', now in Munich's Alte Pinakotek. Like Bach, Suzuki is an Evangelical Protestant – he has cited conveying “God’s message” through Bach’s work as a key objective. Reviews. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Live, review: bursts with the urgency of musicians who haven’t played in months Small forces – just eight singers and a compact band – … While they are played as a complete set today, in Bach's time, each was intended to be played on a different holy day from Christmas day until the Epiphany (January 6). © 2020 Associated Newspapers Limited. It’s nothing to do with the music itself, which is as rich and humane as anything Bach ever wrote, it’s more a question of pragmatism.Six individual cantatas come together in this vast work, each with different orchestral demands. We use cookies and similar tools to enhance your shopping experience, to provide our services, understand how customers use our services so we can make improvements, and display ads. Accordingly, much in evidence for the final part on Saturday were the virtues of restrained drama, perfect tempi and the kind of musical good taste that stands the test of time. Reviews. Nicholas Kenyon recommends recordings of Bach's Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 Japanese conductor Maasaki Suzuki joined the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (AOE) and split the cantatas over two evenings. Small forces – just eight singers and a compact band – bring further focus to music that can sometimes sag or sprawl under the weight of massed choruses.The first three cantatas take us from anticipatory celebration of Christ’s birth to the blissful radiance and peace of the Nativity scene itself. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. Clocking in at well over three hours of music, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio is rarely heard in full in the UK. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Bach: Christmas Oratorio - Philip Pickett on AllMusic - 2000 But while Richter is still my feel-good choice (with that innate sense of musicality and Fritz Wunderlich’s Evangelist! Select Your Cookie Preferences. 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