Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248
General Discussions – Part 2
Continue from Part 1
Robert Murphy wrote (October 23, 2000):
(To Zachary Uram) (Snip) P.S. Handel's better than Bach!! I'll take a 1,000 Messiah's over that crappy patchwork Christmas Oratorio!!:) At least Handel can write MELODIES!!!:)
Harry Steinman wrote (October 23, 2000):
(To Robert Murphy) LOL!! Boy! If them's not fighin' words, I don't know! I'll take the sinfonia to the 2nd cantata in the Xmas Oratorio, or the alto aria from the same over the entire Messiah...and I'll spot you the Royal Fireworks to boot! Handel
is better! Puh-lease!
Happy listening, and enjoy the delusion of Handel's superiority 'cuz I have it on good authority that Handel's works were really written by Francis Bacon. Just kididng, of course...
Robert Murphy wrote (October 24, 2000):
(To Harry J. Steinman) Glad you enjoyed my post, Harry!!
What's your favorite Xmas oratorio recording? My favorites currently are:
1.Karl Richter (You can't beat his solo line up - Janowitz, Ludwig, Wunderlich!!
2. Ledger/King's College, ASMF (Again - Ameling, Baker, and Dieskau)
3. Jochum on Phillips/Ameling and Fassbender.
4. René Jacobs-good tempos and Adnreas Scholl
I was on 50% kidding about my post!!
Harry J. Steinman wrote (October 24, 2000):
(To Robert Sherman) I only have the René Jacobs recording and two different versions on Brilliant Classics: Frankfurt Vocal Ensemble & Concerto Koln/Otto with Ziesak, Groop, Prégardien, Mertens and Dresdner Kreuzchor & Dresden Phil./Flamig with Auger, Burmeister, Schreier, Adam w. I enjoy the Jacobs recording very much and so I don't often listen to the BC recordings, although they are very good, and for the price ($4 for the former; $16 for an 8-cd set that includes the latter, all of this at Berkshire Records) are very attractive. Still, I like the Jacobs/Scholl version best.
And BTW, I absolutely swoon for the two pieces I mentioned originally, the sinfonia to the 2nd cantata and the alto aria in the same work.
And you're right: The Richter lineup is wonderful.
Robert Murphy wrote (October 24, 2000):
(To Harry J. Steinman) My high points in the Christmas Oratorio are:
Grosser Herr - bass with trumpet
Schlafe Mein Jesu - alto aria
Herr, dein Mitleid, dein Erbarmen - soprano/bass duet
Flosst mein Heiland - soprano solo with echo
Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen - chorus
Choral - Nun seid ihr wohl grochen
I first got acquainted withthe Christmas Oratorio back in my freshmen year of college in 1975. On Saturday afternoons, I would take my tape recording of the Christmas Oratorio (Richter) and take some rading material, and walk out to the forests surrounding the college (up in the Napa Valley Hills). I would discard the reading matter after awhile and just listen to the complete oraotrio there out in nature. It was the best I could have done for myself!!
Santu De Silva (Archimedes) wrote (October 24, 2000):
< Robert Murphy wrote: (Snip) P.S. Handel's better than Bach!! I'll take a 1,000 Messiah's over that crappy patchwork Christmas Oratorio!!:) At least Handel can write MELODIES!!!:) >
Oh dear. Here's where I must disagree. I would like to give Handel his due, but the melodies from the Christmas Oratorio are far from crappy. Schlafe mein Liebster (?) for instance is a really lovely, tender lullaby. Then there's Nur ein Wink (? I'm not very good with my German) from the last cantata--oh, how I love that aria? My favorite is the soloist with Harry Christophers and the Sixteen, Lynda somebody, I believe. And, of course, Bach's choruses are as grand in their way as Händel's are in his. Händel impresses with mass (and it's not easy to do it well) while Bach impresses with texture, e.g. the opening and closing choruses of the fifth cantata (of the Christmas Oratorio). Did I mention the really fantastic Grosse Herr und starker König, the bass aria from the first part? Hear it sung by Michael David (again with Harry Christophers & the 16) you'll hear something to compare with Why do the nations.
Christmas OratorioPeter Bright wrote (December 7, 2000):
Isn't the Christmas Oratorio magnificent! I'm listening to it for the first time since, well, last Christmas. I got up in a bad mood this morning, placed it on the tray and have never felt better! It's the Suzuki's recording - anyone prefer a different version? I can hardly imagine it...
Well, how about that for a pointless message!?
Kirk McElhearn wrote (December 7, 2000):
(To Peter Bright) Never heard Suzuki. I have Herreweghe's which I like a lot...
Charles Francis wrote (December 7, 2000):
< Peter Bright wrote: Isn't the Christmas Oratorio magnificent! >
Yes, Bach's greatest chorale settings, written when he had truly mastered the art of these little harmony exercises.
< I'm listening to it for the first time since, well, last Christmas. >
Ah, I've listened to it a quite a few times lately!
< I got up in a bad mood this morning, placed it on the tray and have never felt better! It's the Suzuki's recording - anyone prefer a different version? I can hardly imagine it... >
I only have CD's of Harnoncourt, Gardiner, Rilling, Münchinger, Mertens, and Jacobs, so can't comment on the Suzuki. Of the ones I've got, my least favourite is the Harnoncourt (terrible trumpet playing, nasty "Wagnerian" children) and my favourite is René Jacobs with the Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin, on Harmonia Mundi, France. Unusually this recording uses a lute (Konrad Junghänel performing!) which certainly adds to the music - perhaps Weiss stayed at the Bach's for Christmas? Great chorales, lovely lute, appropriately slow sinfonia - I've lost count of the number of HIP-conductors who don't get Bach's obvious symbolism "rocking the baby Jesus" - this is no dance!
Jeff Leone wrote (December 7, 2000):
Yes the HM recording with Jacobs is very good. I also really like Pickett's OVPP recording of the Oratorio which is pretty recent. He does a good job. I also have Ton Koopman's recording of the Oratorio but I cant seem to find it! But it too is very good, pretty much up there with his Cantata series.
Donald Satz wrote (December 7, 2000):
Koopman, Jacobs, and Herreweghe are very good. My personal favorite is Gardiner who I feel best captures the festive sections.
Matthew Westphal wrote (December 7, 2000):
< Jeff Leone wrote: Yes the HM recording with Jacobs is very good. I also really like Pickett's OVPP recording of the Oratorio which is pretty recent. He does a good job. >
Actually, much to my disappointment (I paid extra to get it from Europe last year), the Pickett is not OVPP - it's 3VPP. (This is discussed in the booklet.) I was disappointed in it in other ways, too. Paul Agnew and Andrew King were both good, I thought; Catherine Bott wasn't up to her usual standard; the Wobbly Michaels (Chance and George) were... wobbly. I found the choruses competent but lackluster.
Pickett has done magnificent work in medieval music and even early Baroque. In light of this disc and the Magnificat from a few years ago, I think late baroque is just not Pickett's strong suit.
IMHO, of course.
Jeff Leone wrote (December 7, 2000):
You are right about the OVPP, I was just generalizing since I do not have the liner notes in front of me. I agree with you about Bott and Chance (for some reason Chance has never "satisfied" me). But I found the choruses to be great, especially in light of the forces used, and the players seemed to play very well IMHO.
I especially thought this was good in the context of Pickett's Magnificat CD, which I had heard was not very well done.
As usually I think Pickett's recordings of Bach have great value mainly for their intrigue as he usually takes a different approach to them. However, his Orchestral Suites is one of my favorite recordings.
Harry J. Steinman wrote (December 9, 2000):
(To Jeff Leone) I love the Xmas Oratorio…I have the Jacobs version and whichever one is on Brilliant Classics (sorry, I’m in my office right now and don’t have my collection in front of me…sigh) I really enjoy the Jacobs versi(the BC one is just fine, too and VERY reasonably priced…I remember it being just under $4 at Berkshire Record Outlet). I think that the accompanying booklet to the Jacobs XO is excellent and I found most helpful.
Only problem I have, and it’s not a problem with the recording or the composition, but I have trouble doing anything other than listening to the sinfonia to the 2nd oratorio, and the alto aria also from that oratorio. I grab the XO and end up just programming those two tunes. My bad! But you know what? I think that if someone were to transcribe the sinfonia for a guitar that it would sound fabulous. Maybe the alto aria also, transcribed for guitar. Just a wish… (Hey Michael Stitt: How about it!)
Donald Satz wrote (December 9, 2000):
(To Harry J. Steinman) I don't have any negative to say about Jacobs. Just wanted to say that I find Herrewegh'e Sinfonia a magical performance. Also, Michael Chance is sensational for Herreweghe in the alto aria; it's the best performance I've ever heard from him, and I usually do not think all that well of his singing.
Santu De Silva wrote (December 9, 2000):
< Jeff Leone writes: As usually I think Pickett's recordings of Bach have great value mainly for their intrigue as he usually takes a different approach to them. However, his Orchestral Suites is one of my favorite recordings. >
Can you say a few words of why you like the orchestras suites? These are some of my favorites, and I don't mind getting the Pickettset if they're interesting.
Steven Guy wrote (December 9, 2000):
(To Santu De Silva, regarding Pickett Overtures) I hope no one minds me jumping in to comment here?
The Ouverturen (Orchestral Suites) of Pickett use a pitch a semi tone under the usual A = 415 - turning the D major works into C major at modern pitch. Pickett generally uses OIPP (One Instrument Per Part - if I may coin a term!?) which really only applies to the strings in these works. Although I think that this approach is an excellent path in the Brandenburg Concerti and the first two Ouvertures, I have some reservations about this practice in the two D major Ouvertures.
The performances are very good in my opinion and Pickett has looked at what Bach's contemporary sources have had to say about the performance of dance movements - particularly Mattheson. Pickett mentions the 'dance suites' and collections of Johann Pezel (for cornetts, trombones or strings) and those of Johann Caspar Horn (five collections! for strings, cornettini, flutes, dulcians & trombones) before Bach and if Pickett ever gets around to recording the music of these earlier composers I think he really will be in his element!
The Pickett recording also includes a number of instrumental movements from church cantatas: BWV 18 Sinfonia, BWV 249 Oster-Oratorium Sinfonia, BWV 152 Concerto, BWV 31 Sonata (Not a terribly extroverted performance in my opinion - I prefer Harnoncourt, Parrott or Koopman), BWV 207 Marcia. All these pieces are well performed and feature very diverse and colourful instrumentation - a 'voice flute'*, oboe d'amore, recorders and viola d'amore etc. Only the Sonata from BWV 31 doesn't seem exciting enough for me - the three trumpets, timpani, three oboes and bassoon seem to be holding back! Maybe this is so that the two single violins on each of the violin parts can be heard! (An extra violin on the first violin part would have at least brought the violin choir into balance with the oboes and trumpets)
If you bought the recent Pinnock recording of the Ouvertures then the Pickett is the perfect contrasting recording! I have both and I enjoy both. Pinnock's interpretation is every bit as valid as Pickett's IMHO. Pinnock's English Concert presents a more sumptuous period instrument orchestra and exhibit a considerable depth of understanding of this music. I also suspect that Pickett's Ouvertures are far less controversial than his Brandenburg Concerti - and therefore pleasing to more people?
I normally prefer Pickett's recordings of Medieval music, Claudio Monteverdi and the 17th century composer Heinrich Ingaz Franz Biber and Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, but Pickett's Ouvertures are good harmless fun and a very enjoyable new version of very familiar music.
Suggestion…Kirk McElhearn wrote (December 7, 2000):
Since it is almost Christmas, and since the Chistmas Oratorio is made of cantatas, could the list maybe examine recordings of this work in the next few weeks?
Pieter Pannevis wrote (Decmber 7, 2000):
(To Kirk McElhearn) Excellent idea !
Aryeh Oron wrote (December 7, 2000):
[To Kirk McElhearn]
1. I know of at least 31 complete recordings of Christmas Oratorio (CO), of which I have 16. Besides, CO includes 6 full length cantatas. It means that if we want to discuss them seriously and on the same level of our weekly cantata discussions, we shall have to dedicate for this mission a lot of time and energy. Besides, we have our weekly cantatas according to the 'Order of Discussion' for the next 14 weeks, as was suggestd to us by Ryan Michero and Andrew Oliver.
2. I saw that a discussion about this magnificient work has already started in the sister 'Bach Recordings' list.
3. I have prepared a list of all the recordings of CO, about which I could find information. I plan to put it in the Archive site. Until it is there, I can send it to the list, if you are interested.
4. I prefer to discuss each one of the 6 cantatas in CO individually, either after we finish discussing all the regular (sacred and secular) cantatas, or when they will be proposed by somebody in the 'Order of Discussion'. I do not believe that I shall be able to find the time to listen closely to them, and I do not want to do it instead of the weekly cantata discussions. But, of course, I cannot object to anybody who chooses to do otherwise.
Rien Pranger wrote (December 12, 2000):
Can anyone tell me something about the WeihnachtsOratorium by the Thomaschor Leipzig conducted by Georg Christoph Biller on Philips 2-CD's 464 130-2.
Christmas Oratorio re-releae by Jacobs
Kirk McElhearn wrote (December 17, 2000):
I picked up the re-release of the Xmas Oratorio, and the Motets, by Jacobs on HM (plus the Bach CD-ROM). I am very disappointed - the first CD contains the first 2 cantatas, plus all but 3 tracks of the 3rd cantata. While this is only really mildly annoying, it's enough to force me to copy the CDs and burn it on 3 CD's, so each one ends at the end of a cantata. Was the original release on 2 CDs as well?
Donald Satz wrote (Decmber 17, 2000):
(To Kirk McElhearn) The original release of the Christmas Oratorio was on 2 CD's; the second CD has the last three tracks of the 3rd Part. There are about 77 minutes on
the first disc, and the recording was made in 1997. I can't really complain about it, although the "break" is unfortunate.
Pascal Bédaton wrote (December 20, 2000):
(To Kirk McElhearn) No kirk, The original release of the Xmas oratorio by Jabob was also cut at the same place. It is apparently due to technical problems (capacity of the CD support, duration of the second 2 parts...) Effectively, one possible solution consists to copy the first cantata separatly, or to buy another version... but I have to agree, this one is a good one!
Karl K. Otsuki wrote (December 20, 2000):
(To Kirk McElhearn) How do you like the CD-ROM? What kind of information you can get from the CD-ROM?
Bach’s Christmas Oratorio - 24 Nov 2001
Mike Evans wrote (April 21, 2001):
I'm taking the liberty of forwarding you details of a concert which I hope may interest you. It's all in a good cause and last year was a sell-out, I understand.
Sing for the Homeless "come and sing" or "come and hear" charity performance Parts 4, 5 and 6 of Bach's Christmas Oratorio Saturday 24 November 2001 DOUAI ABBEY, Woolhampton, near Newbury This is a wonderful place, with a superb acoustic, according to David Hill, no less!
For those of you who weren't able to come to either or both of our previous efforts (The Messiah in 1997 the first half of the Christmas Oratorio in 1999), the idea is to raise funds to help young homeless get off the streets and stay off the streets - and so far, we've raised over 30,000. Not bad, but not enough.
The performance will be conducted by Sir David Willcocks, the soloists are all well known professionals and there is a full orchestra with supporting harpsichord and organ.
The choir is, we hope, all or some of you - after all, choirs don't often get an opportunity like this.
Tickets are available from Sing for the Homeless, Woodbine Cottage, Fishers Lane, COLD ASH, Berkshire, RG18 9NG. Please let us know - with your cheque and a stamped addressed envelope - how many tickets you would like for each voice - soprano, alto, tenor, bass - and/or audience - at 12.50 each. Please make your cheque payable to "Sing for the Homeless". If you can't come, our charity, the Cardinal Hume Centre would be delighted to receive a donation.
With best wishes and hoping to see you on 24 November
Sing for the Homeless
Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (July 24, 2001):
Sometimes this HIP/ Non-HIP/ SEMI-HIP thing becomes problematic. Because of the recommendation on the BachRecordings list and the price of the licensed from Collins Classics, Christophers' Weihnachts-Oratorium, I am now enjoying a wonderful performance. It is HIP? No! It has two grown women and the evangelist and the tenor are one singer and ditto for the bass and Herodes. But are they near perfect as singers and as stylists? For me Mark Padmore (whom I only knew from Christie's second recording of Charentier's Medée) is exsquisite and Michael George is A1. The soprano Lynda Russell is very fine; the alto is the great suprise, Catherine Wyn-Rogers is perfect for me. She is not the kind of overwhelming operatic singer (she doesn't do it here at least, she does Bach**), yet she is a grown woman. I will never object to such a semi-HIP performance. To really enjoy the music I need half decent singers. I object to ones who are overly operatic. I simply would not myself listen to Schwarzkopf, but then again I simply don't like her voice in anything. Some do very very much. I know that some persons, not only on musical grounds, but on theological grounds, want minimal voices. But we have a continuum and this performance is just wonderful, not fully HIP to be sure.
** I notice from Aryeh's bio that she does die dritte Dame in Zauberflöte, a role which memory tells me Hilde Rössl-Majdan also did and which I saw her in.
Christmas Letter 6
Charles Francis wrote (August 29, 2001):
As it happens my wife was listening to the Christmas Oratorio last week, and comparing performances. Her preferences:
1st Mertens / Jacobs (joint winners)
3rd Rilling / Gardiner
5th Richter / Munchinger
Poor Saint Nikolaus!
Riccardo Nughes wrote (August 29, 2001):
[To Charles Francis] Mertens? I know Klaus Mertens but not as a director...but as a great bass singer. Obviously a mistake, I suppose, but I'm SO curious ;-) Who is the winner in your wife pool, Charles?
Is there anybody in your house who likes Harnoncourt works? ;-) Maybe the cat or the dog? ;-)
Believe it or not my cat likes Bruckner!!!!!!!!!
Charles Francis wrote (August 29, 2001):
< Riccardo Nughes wrote: Mertens? I know Klaus Mertens but not as a director...but as a great bass singer. Obviously a mistake, I suppose, but I'm SO curious ;-) >
Yes, a mistake, Klaus Mertens is the bass singer, while the conductor is in fact Ralf Otto. This is an excellent performance, full of Christmas spirit, and certainly one of my overall favourites. One of the female singers (Groop?) is perhaps a little too operatic for Bach and the trumpet might have been a little quieter at times. But these are very minor points, when compared to the spirited performance and excellent singing. I got my version (minus booklet) from Berkshire last year and the 2 CD set is still available for only 4 USD!
Bach, Christmas Oratorio. (Ziesak, Groop, Pregardien, Mertens w.Frankfurt Vocal Ensemble & Concerto Koln/Otto. PLEASE NOTE: NO BOOKLET. SAME PERFORMANCE AS CAPRICCIO #60025-2)
Add to cart | Price: $3.98 | 2 in set. | Country: DUTCH | D/A code: D | Code: CD 99016 | BRO Code: 24718 | Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
The same performance is also available with booklet for 25 USD at Amazon:
Do check out the customer review and if you don't mind paying an extra 21 USD for the booklet, you know where to buy!
Back to the Future: Christmas Oratorio
Santu De Silva wrote (October 26, 2001):
Some years ago I bought a recording of the Christmas Oratorio by Harry Christophers and the Sixteen choir and Orchestra. This is an excellent recording- -Collins Classics, I believe- -on two CDs.
Since then I bought the Christmas Oratorio performed by
Harnoncourt & the Wiener Singerknaben
Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir
Willcox and the King's College Choir [incl Fischer-Dieskau]
My favorite is still the Sixteen. (I'm partial to the lady contralto singing the lullaby. I'm yet to hear a male alto that can do it justice.) I also love their use of the theorbo in the continuo.
So much of the wonder of Christmas is in the compassion of god. Believers or not, there is something about the birth story that seems to speak to us all of the willingness to live dangerously, not for the thrill of it, but out of compassion. And the sound of the theorbo and the lute, and the rustic instruments, such as the recorders and oboes, symbolize to me that the shepherds were honored first, on that christmas night, right after the cattle themselves.
I do have a question for the experts.
Bach uses two trumpets for most of the oratorio, except for switching to two horns for either the fifth or the fourth section alone. Now I seem to remember vaguely some discussion somewhere that the instruments referred to as "corni" in Italian could have stood for cornets ("zink" in German). Is it possible in this instance, and if so, are there recordings of the X Oratorio using cornetts? How successful is it? How different is it?
Zachary Uram wrote (October 26, 2001):
< Santu De Silva wrote: Some years ago I bought a recording of the Christmas Oratorio by Harry Christophers and the Sixteen choir and Orchestra. This is an excellent recording- -Collins Classics, I believe- -on two CDs. >
I also have this. I like it.
< Since then I bought the Christmas Oratorio performed by
Harnoncourt & the Wiener Singerknaben >
< Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir >
< Willcox and the King's College Choir [incl Fischer-Dieskau] >
< My favorite is still the Sixteen. (I'm partial to the lady contralto singing the lullaby. I'm yet to hear a male alto that can do it justice.) I also love their use of the theorbo in the continuo. >
My favorite is by Harnoncourt.
< So much of the wonder of Christmas is in the compassion of god. >
< Believers or not, there is something about the birth story that seems to speak to us all of the willingness to live dangerously, not for the thrill of it, but out of compassion. >
< And the sound of the theorbo and the lute, and the rustic instruments, such as the recorders and oboes, symbolize to me that the shepherds were honored first, on that christmas night, right after the cattle themselves. >
Pastoral building to powerful jubilance. Emanuel - finally – God truly with us.
< Bach uses two trumpets for most of the oratorio, except for switching to two horns for either the fifth or the fourth section alone. Now I seem to remember vaguely some discussion somewhere that the instruments referred to as "corni" in Italian could have stood for cornets ("zink" in German). Is it >
I prefer arrangement for 3 trumpets, timpani and organ.
< possible in this instance, and if so, are there recordings of the X Oratorio using cornetts? How successful is it? How different is it? >
Bach’s Christmas OratorioThomas Gebhardt (Collegium Köln) wrote (October 30, 2001):
I'm conducting (for the first time in my life) Bach's "Weihnachtsoratorium" this year, and I have some questions on this work. Maybe the wisdom of this list could offer assistance:
We are using the Bärenreiter (NBA) edition and I have two questions about it:
In No. 24 ("Herrscher des Himmels") the first note in the tenor in bar 91 is printed as "b". This produces a rather odd "Sekundakkord" (a-b-d-f#) on this beat that seems wrong to my ears here. I supposed that it should be an "a" and labelled it a misprint - but in the full score of the NBA, there is this note again. Any idea if this is a widely known misprint of the NBA or just something that slipped through Bach's own any many others' observation or something that he clearly intended????
The next thing is: in the facsimile of Bach's autograph you can see very clearly that Bach ruled out the low notes of the Soprano in the very beginning of the (vocal parts of the) first Chorus ("Jauchzet, frohlocket") »d' d' d' | d' a« and notated it an ocatve higher instead (» d" d" d" | d" a' «). The NBA gives the low notes without any commentary and ignores Bach's own changing of this first notes. Any reasons for that?
I would be happy if you share your knowledge.
Thomas Braatz wrote (October 30, 2001):
< Thomas Gebhardt inquired: In the facsimile of Bach's autograph you can see very clearly that Bach ruled out the low notes of the Soprano in the very beginning of the (vocal parts of the) first Chorus ("Jauchzet, frohlocket") »d' d' d' | d' a« and notated it an ocatve higher instead (» d" d" d" | d" a' «). The NBA gives the low notes without any commentary and ignores Bach's own changing of this first notes. Any reasons for that? >
Yes, the NBA KB indicates that the correction is not in Bach's handwriting.It may have been done by C.P.E. Bach. For this reason the original (current NBA) version was maintained.
This mvt. is a parody of the 1st mvt. of BWV 214 ("Tönet, ihr Pauken!") which shows exactly the same thing without any cross-outs by CPE, if he is the culprit in this case.
< In No. 24 ("Herrscher des Himmels") the first note in the tenor in bar 91 is printed as "b". This produces a rather odd "Sekundakkord" (a-b-d-f#) on this beat that seems wrong to my ears here. I supposed that it should be an "a" and labelled it a misprint - but in the full score of the NBA, there is this note again. Any idea if this is a widely known misprint of the NBA or just something that slipped through Bach's own any many others' observation or something that he clearly intended? >
The NBA editors decided in favor of keeping this based on what Bach himself wrote (Shades of Scarlatti here? - Longo removed most of the dissonances that he did not like, but at least he put the originals as footnotes at the bottom of the page.) The comparison with the original cantata (BWV 214) of which mvt. 24 of the Christmas Oratorio is a parody seems to tip everything towards keeping the "b".
I think you will enjoy the original note on this note in the original language:
"Die 1. Note wurde von BG und Eulenburg stillschweigend in 'a' geändert, doch lesen A, B 3 woswie I (Partitur und Orignalstimme zu BWV 214 – these are all the sources which they compared) eindeutig 'h', so daß wir uns nicht zur Änderung dieser immerhin möglichen (und sangbareren!) Lesart entschließen konnten."
J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
Francine Renee Hall wrote (November 11, 2001):
Am sending this site because it mentions Bach's 'parody technique' something I brought up earlier. So does this hold up as an Oratorio or a string of cantatas?
Thomas Braatz wrote (November 11, 2001):
Francine stated: < it mentions Bach's 'parody technique' something I brought up earlier. So does this hold up as an Oratorio or a string of cantatas? >
Francine, here is a book to add to your Christmas wish list: Oxford Composer Companions: J.S.Bach, edited by Malcolm Boyd, Oxford University Press, 1999.
This will answer all your questions about the Christmas Oratorio and much more. It is a good standard reference that I assume quite a number of the BRML members own. Always check this reference book first, and if there still are questions, other members will try to come up with answers.
Jim Morrison wrote (November 11, 2001):
[To Thomas Braatz] Great book, the best that I have on Bach. I think you can find it at some outlet stores for way below cover price. The wealth of information on the Bach vocal works is impressive, but it seems to have come at the cost of devoting much space to the instrumental works. It's not uncommon to find entries on single cantatas having nearly as much space devoted to them as an entire keyboard suite.
Continue on Part 3
Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248: Details
Recordings: Until 1960 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | Individual Movements
General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6
Systematic Discussions: Cantata 1 | Cantata 2 | Cantata 3 | Cantata 4 | Cantata 5 | Cantata 6 | Part 7: Summary
Individual Recordings: BWV 248 - Christophers | BWV 248 - Gardiner | BWV 248 - Jacobs | BWV 248 - Otto | BWV 248 - Richter | BWV 248 - Rilling | BWV 248 - Schreier | BWV 248 - Suzuki | BWV 248 - Kurt Thomas | BWV 248 - Veldhoven
Articles: A Bottomless Bucket of Bach - Christmas Oratorio (by Donald Satz)