London Concert Choir will be joined by a cast of excellent soloists and accompanied by the authentic sound of Counterpoint’s period instruments in this performance of Bach’s glorious Christmas Oratorio, sung in German. The Oratorio was composed in six parts for performance in two Leipzig churches over the Christmas season of 1734. Parts 1 to 3, performed on the 25th, 26th and 27th December, depict the birth of Jesus, the announcement to the shepherds by a host of angels and the adoration of the Christ Child by the shepherds.
The Christmas story is brought vividly to life as the tenor soloist narrates the words of St Luke’s gospel, aided by the choir as angels and shepherds, while the meaning of the Nativity is explored in reflective arias and chorales. From the exultant trumpets and drums of the opening and closing movements to the serene Pastoral Sinfonia, the oratorio is greatly enriched by Bach’s masterly orchestration and by his subtle harmonisation of the familiar chorales.
Nicholas Hurndall Smith