Johann Sebastian Bach, hero of the Baroque, has many masterpieces to his name. Among them is the Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV248, also known as the Christmas Oratorio. The work was written in 1734 to be performed at several services spanning Christmas Day to Epiphany in Leipzig. A re-telling of the Christmas story, the work has become one of the most popular choral compositions of all time and is a regular fixture in the church and concert calendars all over the world.
In a manner of parody, as was popular at the time, Bach repurposed sections of his other cantatas, particularly the secular ‘Laßt uns sorgen, laßt uns wachen’ BWV213, ‘Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!’ BWV214 and ‘Preise dein Glück, gesegnetes Sachsen’ BWV215; if you recognise the melody, you’ve probably heard it before! In addition to these sections, passages of the Gospel were newly composed, along with the Chorale settings. While the soloists enact the details of the story and play the parts of different characters along the way, the Chorales represent the congregation – an affirmation of their trust in God. This recording, originally released in 1974, features several world-renowned soloists at the top of their game: Arleen Augér, Peter Schreier and Theo Adam, playing the Angel, the Evangelist and Herod respectively.
- Recorded in 1974.
- A classic performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, featuring the superb voices of Arleen Augér, Peter Schreier, Annelies Burmeister, Theo Adam and the famous Dresdner Kreuzchor and Dresdner Philharmonie, conducted by Martin Flämig.
- The traditional performance style gives full due to the jubilant character and the deep feeling of wonder about the mystery of the Nativitas, here expressed by the unique voice of the much lamented Arleen Auger.
- From the rich archives of Berlin Classics.
- Sung texts available (on release) by clicking on 'Download Booklet' below the cover.