An ambitious project: that is the very least you can say about this six-part retelling of the birth of Christ. Johann Sebastian Bach’s soloists, choir and orchestra all exult in this joyful event and sweep you up in festive jubilation, only to evoke heartfelt emotion or profound humility in the recitatives, arias and chorales.
When Bach decided to write a large-scale oratorio for the Christmas season in 1734-35, he did not look for inspiration so much in the relatively limited tradition of compositions specifically for Christmas as in his own great Passion oratorios. This is why the elements that are so typical of Bach’s passions can also be found in the Weihnachtsoratorium. Three layers of text – the Bible story, Lutheran chorales and newly-written texts – are combined with an unprecedented variety of musical forms.
AMUZ treats you to a complete performance of the Weihnachtsoratorium: exceptionally, the concert will include all six cantatas. Expect the very best music, a cast of leading soloists and a performance by Il Gardellino, led by Peter Van Heyghen, whose astonishing precision is matched only by its emotional intensity: a Christmas present to yourself that you will never forget!