Bach: Weihnachts-oratorium, Bwv 248

Album cover art for upc 747313400171
Label: NAXOS
Catalog: 8574001-02
Format: CD

Magiera, Katharina; Mainz Bach Orchestra; Poplutz, Georg; Mainz Bach Choir; Otto, Ralf; Bauer, Thomas E.; Kleiter, Julia; Braum, Victoria

J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio was written for the Christmas season of 1734, and although it incorporates music from earlier works it belongs firmly among his timeless large-scale compositions. The development of the oratorio, which was to become a new musical form in Protestant church services at that time, was stimulated by Bach’s compositions, particularly by the unusual form of his six-part Christmas Oratorio. From its famously joyful opening ‘Jauchzet frohlocket’ to the arrival of the Wise Men from the East, this work’s enduring popularity has long proven its status as a choral ‘evergreen.’ For the conductor Ralf Otto, flexibility, diversity and transparency of sound have always been essential to his work with choirs and orchestras. The conductor’s reputation is based on his gift for interpreting different musical styles, from the Renaissance through the music of today. This recording follows the April 2018 release of Bach’s St. John Passion with the Bach Choir and Orchestra of Mainz conducted by Ralf Otto. MusicWeb International wrote: “the Bachchor Mainz is a fine ensemble: it shows great flexibility in those turbae which are performed at a high speed, and produces a surprisingly transparent sound, also thanks to the good acoustic of the Christuskirche in Mainz.”

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