J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio

Composer Johann Sebastian Bach
Artist Arleen Augér soprano
Annelies Burmeister contralto
Peter Schreier tenor
Theo Adam bass
Dresdner Philharmonie
Martin Flämig conductor
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 95019
EAN code 5028421950198
Release November 2014

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About this release

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.

Other information:
- 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.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 1: I. Chorus. Jauchzet, frohlocket!
  2. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 1: II. Recitative. Es begab sich aber zu der Zeit (Evangelist)
  3. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 1: III. Recitative. Nun wird mein liebster Bräutigam (Alto)
  4. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 1: IV. Aria. Bereite dich, Zion (Alto)
  5. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 1: V. Chorale. Wie soll ich dich empfangen (Chorus)
  6. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 1: VI. Recitative. Und sie gebar ihren ersten Sohn (Evangelist)
  7. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 1: VII. Chorale. Er ist auf Erden kommen arm (Chorus, Soprano) – Recitative. Wer kann die Liebe recht erhöh’n (Bass)
  8. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 1: VIII. Aria. Großer Herr und starker König (Bass)
  9. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 1: IX. Chorale. Ach mein herzliebes Jesulein (Chorus)
  10. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: I. Sinfonia
  11. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: II. Recitative. Und es waren Hirten in derselben Gegend (Evangelist)
  12. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: III. Chorale. Brich an, o schönes Morgenlicht (Chorus)
  13. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: IV. Recitative. Und der Engel sprach zu ihnen. Fürchtet euch nicht (Evangelist, Angel)
  14. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: V. Recitative. Was Gott dem Abraham verheißen (Bass)
  15. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: VI. Aria. Frohe Hirten, eilt, ach eilet (Tenor)
  16. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: VII. Recitative. Und das habt zum Zeichen (Evangelist)
  17. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: VIII. Chorale. Schaut hin, dort liegt im finstern Stall (Chorus)
  18. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: IX. Recitative. So geht denn hin, ihr Hirten, geht (Bass)
  19. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: X. Aria. Schlafe, mein Liebster (Alto)
  20. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: XI. Recitative. Und alsobald war da bei dem Engel (Evangelist)
  21. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: XII. Chorus. Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe
  22. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: XIII. Recitative. So recht, ihr Engel, jauchzt und singet (Bass)
  23. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 2: XIV. Chorale. Wir singen dir in deinem Heer

Disk 2

  1. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: I. Chorus. Herrscher des Himmels
  2. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: II. Recitative. Und da die Engel von ihnen gen Himmel fuhren (Evangelist)
  3. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: III. Chorus. Lasset uns nun gehen
  4. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: IV. Recitative. Er hat sein Volk getröst’ (Bass)
  5. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: V. Chorale. Dies hat er alles uns getan (Chorus)
  6. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: VI. Duet. Herr, dein Mitleid (Soprano, Bass)
  7. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: VII. Recitative. Und sie kamen eilend (Evangelist)
  8. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: VIII. Aria. Schließe, mein Herze, dies selige Wunder (Alto)
  9. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: IX. Recitative. Ja, ja, mein Herz soll es bewahren (Alto)
  10. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: X. Chorale. Ich will dich mit Fleiß bewahren (Chorus)
  11. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: XI. Recitative. Und die Hirten kehrten wieder um (Evangelist)
  12. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: XII. Chorale. Seid froh dieweil (Chorus)
  13. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 3: XIII. Chorus, da capo. Herrscher des Himmels
  14. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 4: I. Chorus. Fallt mit Danken, fallt mit Loben
  15. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 4: II. Recitative. Und da acht Tage um waren (Evangelist)
  16. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 4: III. Recitative. Immanuel, o süßes Wort! (Bass) – Arioso. Jesu, du mein liebstes Leben (Bass, Soprano)
  17. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 4: IV. Aria. Flößt, mein Heiland (Soprano, Soprano-Echo)
  18. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 4: V. Recitative. Wohlan, dein Name soll allein (Bass) – Chorale. Jesu, meine Freud’ und Wonne (Chorus-Soprano)
  19. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 4: VI. Aria. Ich will nur dir zu Ehren leben (Tenor)
  20. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 4: VII. Chorale. Jesus richte mein Beginnen (Chorus)

Disk 3

  1. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 5: I. Chorus. Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen
  2. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 5: II. Recitative. Da Jesus geboren war zu Bethlehem (Evangelist)
  3. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 5: III. Chorus. Wo ist der neugeborne König – Recitative. Sucht ihn in meiner Brust (Soprano)
  4. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 5: IV. Chorale. Dein Glanz all Finsternis verzehrt (Chorus)
  5. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 5: V. Aria. Erleucht auch meine finstre Sinnen (Bass)
  6. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 5: VI. Recitative. Da das der König Herodes hörte (Evangelist)
  7. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 5: VII. Recitative. Warum wollt ihr erschrecken? (Alto)
  8. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 5: VIII. Recitative. Und ließ versammeln alle Hohepriester (Evangelist)
  9. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 5: IX. Trio. Ach, wenn wird die Zeit erscheinen? (Soprano, Alto, Tenor)
  10. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 5: X. Recitative. Mein Liebster herrschet schon (Alto)
  11. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 5: XI. Chorale. Zwar ist solche Herzensstube (Chorus)
  12. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 6: I. Chorus. Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben
  13. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 6: II. Recitative. Da berief Herodes die Weisen heimlich (Evangelist) – Ziehet hin und forschet fleißig (Herod)
  14. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 6: III. Recitative. Du Falscher, suche nur den Herrn zu fällen (Soprano)
  15. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 6: IV. Aria. Nur ein Wink von seinen Händen (Soprano)
  16. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 6: V. Recitative. Als sie nun den König gehöret hatten (Evangelist)
  17. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 6: VI. Chorale. Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier (Chorus)
  18. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 6: VII. Recitative. Und Gott befahl ihnen im Traum (Evangelist)
  19. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 6: VIII. Recitative. So geht! Genug, mein Schatz (Evangelist)
  20. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 6: IX. Aria. Nun mögt ihr stolzen Feinde schrecken (Tenor)
  21. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 6: X. Recitative. Was will der Hölle Schrecken nun (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass)
  22. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, Pt. 6: XI. Chorale. Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen (Chorus)