La Petite Bande | Sigiswald Kuijken

Bach: Weihnachtsoratorium (DOUBLE SACD)

Regular price €26,95
Unit price

La Petite Bande | Sigiswald Kuijken

Bach: Weihnachtsoratorium (DOUBLE SACD)

Regular price €26,95
Unit price
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Johann Sebastian Bach – Weihnachtsoratorium

La Petite Bande / Sigiswald Kuijken

Challenge Classics / HQ|NORTHSTAR

Catalogue CC72394


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(Low Resolution excerpts)



About the Album

The Christmas Oratorio is a series of 6 separate cantatas, collectively relating the story from Christmas through to Twelfth Night. Bach wrote the work in Leipzig in 1734 and 1735 for Christmas Day (I), Boxing day (II), the third day of Christmas (III), New Year (IV), the Sunday after New Year (V) and Twelfth Night (VI). As with the Passions, the texts here are drawn from three sources: (1) the evangelical texts (primarily Luke and Matthew) intoned by the Evangelist (tenor) as recitatives, (2) chorales from the Lutheran tradition and (3) free texts for arias and some choral passages, written by the poet Picander.

This performance is perhaps as close as presently possible to what we imagine Bach might have had in mind as he composed the work in Leipzig. First of all, we have the ‘one to a part’ aspect: historical research among the various sources clearly shows that Bach did not ask for a choir to perform his cantatas, but simply a vocal quartet. This ‘single line singing’ certainly adds to the individual expression of the text and the music’s transparency. Bach’s religious music always uses the text as its starting point and a great deal of attention is therefore paid to correct enunciation. The vocal principle of ‘one to a part’ also has a major influence on the instrumental forces.

Bach employed a small-scale string ensemble (two first violins, two second violins, one viola, one or two bass violins for the bass line and sometimes a violoncello da spalla, or shoulder cello, see below), as well as single wind instruments where appropriate, all supported by an organ, which formed the continuo in conjunction with the bass violin. And since the instrumental music is also completely permeated by the rhetoric that stems from the text, the transparency of this small ensemble intertwines itself seamlessly with the vocal lines, giving a refined polyphony that reached its zenith in Bach’s music.

Continuing to focus attention on the ‘historical truth’ of performance (in other words trying to get as close as possible to the circumstances in which the work was originally conceived and performed) is not a museum activity. Rather it is an ongoing process of questioning music in performance, erasing later habits and traditions that have survived, so that the music can once again dazzle us with its freshness and directness.


Album tracks

  1. I. Chor: Jauchzet, Frohlocket! Auf, Preiset Die Tage Jauchzet, Frohlocket!

  2. I. Secco-Rezitativ (Evangelist, Tenor): Es Begab Sich Aber Zu Der Zeit

  3. I. Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Alt): Nun Wird Mein Liebster Bräutigam

  4. I. Arie (Alt): Bereite Dich, Zion, Mit Zärtlichen Trieben

  5. I. Choral: Wie Soll Ich Dich Empfangen

  6. I. Choral (Sopran) Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Bass): Er Ist Auf Erden Kommen Arm Wer Will Die Liebe Recht Erhöhn

  7. I. Arie (Bass): Großer Herr, O Starker König

  8. I. Choral: Ach Mein Herzliebes Jesulein!

  9. II. Sinfonia

  10. II. Secco-Rezitativ (Evangelist, Tenor): Und Es Waren Hirten In Derselben Gegend

  11. II. Choral: Brich An, O Schönes Morgenlicht

  12. II. Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Evangelist, Tenor; Engel, Sopran): Und Der Engel Sprach Zu Ihnen Fürchtet Euch Nicht

  13. II. Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Bass): Was Gott Dem Abraham Verheißen

  14. II. Arie (Tenor): Frohe Hirten, Eilt, Ach Eilet

  15. Choral: Schaut Hin, Dort Liegt Im Finstern Stall

  16. II. Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Bass): So Geht Denn Hin, Ihr Hirten, Geht

  17. II. Arie (Alt): Schlafe, Mein Liebster, Genieße Der Ruh'

  18. II. Chor: Ehre Sei Gott In Der Höhe

  19. II. Choral: Wir Singen Dir In Deinem Heer

  20. III. Chor: Herrscher Des Himmels, Erhöre Das Lallen

  21. III. Chor: Lasset Uns Nun Gehen Gen Bethlehem

  22. III. Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Bass): Er Hat Sein Volk Getröst'

  23. III. Choral: Dies Hat Er Alles Uns Getan

  24. III. Duett (Sopran, Bass): Herr, Dein Mitleid, Dein Erbarmen

  25. III. Secco-Rezitativ (Evangelist, Tenor): Und Sie Kamen Eilend

  26. III. Arie (Alt): Schließe, Mein Herze, Dies Selige Wunder

  27. III. Choral: Ich Will Dich Mit Fleiß Bewahren

  28. III. Choral: Seid Froh Dieweil - (Da Capo) Chor: Herrscher Des Himmels, Erhöre Das Lallen

  29. IV. Chor: Fallt Mit Danken, Fallt Mit Loben

  30. IV. Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Bass) Arioso-Choral (Sopran): Immanuel, O Süßes Wort Jesu, Du Mein Liebstes Leben

  31. IV. Arie (Sopran & Echo-Sopran): Flößt, Mein Heiland, Flößt Dein Namen

  32. IV. Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Bass) Arioso-Choral (Sopran): Wohlan, Dein Name Soll Allein Jesu, Meine Freud' Und Wonne

  33. IV. Arie (Tenor): Ich Will Nur Dir Zu Ehren Leben

  34. IV. Choral: Jesus Richte Mein Beginnen

  35. V. Chor: Ehre Sei Dir, Gott, Gesungen

  36. V. Chor Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Alt) Chor: Wo Ist Der Neugeborne König Der Juden Sucht Ihn In Meiner Brust Wir Haben Seinen Stern Gesehen

  37. V. Choral: Dein Glanz All Finsternis Verzehrt

  38. V. Arie (Bass): Erleucht Auch Meine Finstre Sinnen

  39. V. Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Alt): Warum Wollt Ihr Erschrecken

  40. V. Secco-Rezitativ (Evangelist, Tenor): Und Ließ Versammlen Alle Hohepriester

  41. V. Terzett (Sopran, Alt, Tenor): Ach, Wenn Wird Die Zeit Erscheinen?

  42. V. Choral: Zwar Ist Solche Herzensstube

  43. VI. Chor: Herr, Wenn Die Stolzen Feinde Schnauben

  44. VI. Secco-Rezitativ (Evangelist, Tenor; Herodes, Bass): Da Berief Herodes Die Weisen Heimlich Ziehet Hin Und Forschet Fleißig

  45. VI. Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Sopran): Du Falscher, Suche Nur Den Herrn Zu Fällen

  46. VI. Arie (Sopran): Nur Ein Wink Von Seinen Händen

  47. VI. Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Evangelist, Tenor): Als Sie Nun Den König Gehöret Hatten

  48. VI. Choral: Ich Steh An Deiner Krippen Hier

  49. VI. Accompagnato-Rezitativ (Tenor): So Geht! Genug, Mein Schatz Geht Nicht Von Hier

  50. VI. Arie (Tenor): Nun Mögt Ihr Stolzen Feinde Schrecken

  51. VI. Secco-Rezitativ (Sopran, Alt, Tenor, Bass): Was Will Der Höllen Schrecken Nun

  52. VI. Choral: Nun Seid Ihr Wohl Gerochen


Additional photos: Brendon Heinst

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