Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Bach: Weihnachtsoratorium / Biller, Danz, Genz, Iconomou, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig Thomaner Choir

Bach / Thomanerchor Leipzig / Iconomou
Release Date: 03/27/2012 
Label:  Rondeau Productions   Catalog #: 403435  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christoph GenzPanito IconomouIngeborg DanzMartin Petzold
Conductor:  Georg Christoph Biller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus OrchestraSt. Thomas Men and Boy's ChoirLeipzig Thomaner Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Christmas Oratorio Georg Christoph Biller, cond; Martin Petzold ( Evangelist ); Paul Bernewitz, Friedrich Praetorius (treble); Ingeborg Danz (alt); Christoph Genz (ten); Panajotis Iconomou (bs); Leipzig Gewandhaus O & Thomanerchor RONDEAU ROP4034/35 (2 CDs: 151:01 Text and Translation)


This is, in a manner of speaking, Bach’s home team. The Leipzig Thomanerchor, now greatly expanded and almost three centuries Read more removed, was Bach’s own choir. It and its present day partner, the Gewandhaus Orchestra, are two of his city’s most venerable and respected institutions. The choir’s inauguration predates its most revered cantor’s tenure by half a millennium, but the orchestra, per se, was not established until 30 years after Bach’s death. Its precursor, however, came into being as early as 1743, so it’s conceivable that some of its early members did play some of Bach’s music. The orchestra’s collaboration with the choir began at least as early as 1835 when Felix Mendelssohn became its music director and programmed Bach’s music for his concerts. Now it plays weekly concerts with the choir.


Thus, the current cantor, Georg Christoph Biller, has inherited a hallowed tradition, and he has served it well. It’s not surprising that the large choir is not as crisp or as flexible as the elite small choirs, but it is well disciplined and enthusiastic and presents a splendid cathedral ambiance. The Gewandhaus Orchestra is an elite ensemble and sounds like one. The solos are uniformly splendid, and the high trumpets are thrilling. Biller’s direction is apt. He paces the oratorio nicely, avoids extremes, and generates genuine excitement where it is appropriate.


Martin Petzold may not be my favorite Evangelist, but he is effective here. Christoph Genz and Panajotis Iconomou are very good, and Ingeborg Danz is excellent, amply justifying Biller’s decision to use an adult female alto. Her aria, “Schlale, mein Leibster, geniesse der Ruh,” in the second cantata is one of the highlights of the set. I am less enthralled by the terzetto, “Ach, wenn wird die Zeit erscheinen,” in the fifth cantata, where her mature voice seems oddly incompatible with the Thomaner treble Friedrich Praetorius. Praetorius is charming in the echo aria “Flösst, mein Heiland, flösst dein namen” in the fourth cantata. The Thomaner treble Paul Bernewitz sings the echo. Bernewitz is not as impressive in his arias, which again brings to mind the issue of boy soloists, and whether they invite repeated listening. One’s response to this set will depend largely on it.


There’s much to like about this performance if you are looking for a large-choir-with-boys’-voices, modern-instrument version of the Christmas Oratorio. It’s a middle-of-the- pack option, good but less than great. I would certainly rank it above the Gewandhaus’s recent and hectic version with the Dresden Chamber Choir conducted by Riccado Chailly. John Eliot Gardiner still gets the nod.


FANFARE: George Chien
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Christoph Genz (Tenor), Panito Iconomou (Boy Alto), Ingeborg Danz (Alto),
Martin Petzold (Tenor)
Conductor:  Georg Christoph Biller
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  St. Thomas Men and Boy's Choir,  Leipzig Thomaner Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734-1735; Leipzig, Germany 

Sound Samples

Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part I: Jauchzet, frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part I: Recitative: Es begab sich aber zu der Zeit ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part I: Recitative: Nun wird mein liebster Brautigam ... (Alto)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part I: Aria: Bereite dich, Zion, mit zartlichen Trieben ... (Alto)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part I: Chorale: Wie soll ich dich empfangen (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part I: Recitative: Und sie gebar ihren ersten Sohn ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part I: Chorale and Recitative: Er ist auf Erden kommen arm, Wer will die Liebe recht erhohn ... (Soprano, Bass)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part I: Aria: Grosser Herr, o starker Konig ... (Bass)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part I: Chorale: Ach, mein herzliebes Jesulein ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Sinfonia
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Und es waren Hirten in derselben Gegend ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Chorale: Brich an, o schones Morgenlicht ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Und der Engel sprach zu ihnen, Furchtet euch nicht ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Recitative: Was Gott dem Abraham verheissen ... (Bass)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Aria: Frohe Hirten, eilt, ach eilet ... (Tenor)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Und das habt zum Zeichen ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Chorale: Schaut hin, dort liegt im finstern Stall ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Recitative: So geht denn hin, ihr Hirten, geht ... (Bass)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Aria: Schlafe, mein Liebster, geniesse der Ruh ... (Alto)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Und alsobald war da bei dem Engel ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Ehre sei Gott in der Hohe ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Recitative: So recht, ihr Engel, jauchzt und singet ... (Bass)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part II: Chorale: Wir singen dir in deinem Heer ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Herrscher des Himmels, erhore das Lallen ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Und da die Engel von ihnen gen Himmel fuhren ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Lasset uns nun gehen gen Bethlehem ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Recitative: Er hat sein Volk getrost ... (Bass)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Chorale: Dies hat er alles uns getan ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Aria (Duet): Herr, dein Mitleid, dein Erbarmen ... (Soprano, Bass)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Und sie kamen eilend ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Aria: Schliesse, mein Herze, dies selige Wunder ... (Alto)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Recitative: Ja, ja, mein Herz soll es bewahren ... (Alto)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Choral: Ich will dich mit Fleiss bewahren ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Und die Hirten kehrten wieder um ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Choral: Seid froh dieweil, dass euer Heil ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part III: Chorus: Herrscher des Himmels, erhore das Lallen
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part IV: Fallt mit Danken, fallt mit Loben ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part IV: Und da acht Tage um waren ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part IV: Recitative with Chorale: Immanuel, o susses Wort (Bass, Soprano)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part IV: Aria: Flosst, mein Heiland, flosst dein Namen ... (Soprano)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part IV: Recitative with Chorale: Wohlan, dein Name soll allein (Soprano, Bass)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part IV: Aria: Ich will nur dir zu Ehren leben ... (Tenor)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part IV: Chorale: Jesus richte mein Beginnen ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part V: Ehre sei dir, Gott gesungen ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part V: Recitative: Da Jesus geboren war zu Bethlehem ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part V: Chorus and Recitative: Wo ist der neugeborne Konig der Juden? ... (Alto, Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part V: Chorale: Dein Glanz all Finsternis verzehrt ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part V: Aria: Erleucht auch meine finstre Sinnen ... (Bass)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part V: Recitative: Da das der Konig Herodes horte ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part V: Recitative: Warum wollt ihr erschrecken?... (Alto)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part V: Recitative: Und liess versammlen alle Hohepriester... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part V: Aria (Trio): Ach, wenn wird die Zeit erscheinen ... (Soprano, Alto, Tenor)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part V: Recitative: Mein Liebster herrschet schon ... (Alto)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part V: Choral: Zwar ist solche Herzensstube ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part VI: Chorus: Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part VI: Recitative: Da berief Herodes die Weisen heimlich ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part VI: Recitative: Du Falscher, suche nur den Herrn zu fallen ... (Soprano)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part VI: Aria: Nur ein Wink von seinen Handen ... (Soprano)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part VI: Recitative: Als sie nun den Konig gehoret hatten ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part VI: Choral: Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier ... (Chorus)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part VI: Recitative: Und Gott befahl ihnen im Traum ... (Evangelist)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part VI: Recitative: So geht! Genug, mein Schatz geht nicht von hier ... (Tenor)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part VI: Aria: Nun mogt ihr stolzen Feinde schrecken ... (Tenor)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part VI: Recitative (Quartet): Was will der Holle Schrekken nun ... (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass)
Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part VI: Choral: Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen ... (Chorus)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In