Notes and Editorial Reviews
Although it was originally written to be performed in parts in six separate church services from Christmas Day to Epiphany, Bach's Christmas Oratorio has become a popular concert work with all of its six constituent cantatas performed in one sitting or together in one recording set. The present set is ripe with celebratory feelings, aside from musical ones.
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem was celebrating its 100th anniversary at the time of this recording in 1998; the whole music world will celebrate the 250th anniversary of Bach's death in the year 2000; and the 100th anniversary of the first American performance of the Christmas Oratorio by the Bach Choir of Bethlehem in 1901 is approaching as well.
Bach's music can be fiendishly
difficult to sing, but it is immensely rewarding to performers who manage to master it. The Bach Choir has devoted its entire existence to just that. Since 1898 this group of committed and talented amateurs has been presenting the Baroque masters works in concert venues in the US and Europe, but primarily in their home festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This Christmas Oratorio is an excellent representation of the results of such devotion: an excellent performance well-recorded. Read less
Works on This Recording
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Tamara Crout Matthews (Soprano),
Marietta Simpson (Mezzo Soprano),
Benjamin Butterfield (Tenor),
Christopheren Nomura (Baritone)
Bach Choir of Bethlehem,
Bach Festival Orchestra
Written: 1734-1735; Leipzig, Germany
Length: 147 Minutes 15 Secs.
Notes: Composition written: Leipzig, Germany (1734 - 1735).
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