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JS Bach: Christmas Oratorio / Riccardo Chailly

Audio Samples

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Riccardo Chailly conducts Leipzig's famous Gewandhausorchester in Johann Sebastian Bach's glorious collection of cantatas, otherwise known as the Christmas Oratorio. An outstanding vocal cast includes Martin Lattke as the evangelist, acclaimed English soprano Carolyn Sampson and the voices of the Dresdner Kammerchor. The six parts which make up the Christmas Oratorio tell the biblical story from Christ's birth to the adoration of the shepherds and the Magi, and the flight in to Egypt to escape Herod's slaughter of the infants. Having first conducted the Gewandhausorchester in 1986, Riccardo Chailly's association with Leipzig is now only one year less than Bach's. Played on modern instruments, Chailly's Bach beautifully demonstrates that vivid, stylistically aware performance is not the exclusive preserve of period instrument ensembles.

"A wonderfully flexible and dramatically vivid account, constantly illuminated by the obbligatos from the Gewandhaus wind...Chailly manages to combine the rhythmic lightness of a period-instrument performance with the tonal richness of a traditional orchestra. It is by far the most successful of his Bach forays to date." -The Guardian

"Any discerning music fan will be thrilled to receive Bach's Christmas Oratorio (Decca), a superb new recording by Riccardo Chailly" -The Observer

"[Chailly] eschews the current trend towards period instrumentation, with no perceptible loss of authenticity. It's marvellously recorded, the solo vocalists sustaining poise and clarity against the full onslaught of choir and orchestra, while the fulsome brass brings a dazzling, burnished lustre to the performance." -The Independent

"If you like your Bach thick-set but with historically informed inflections, seek it out." -Classic FM

"His trumpets are spectacular and he brings a rare sense of drama and rediscovery to this glorious music." -The Sunday Times

"The first chorus gets things off to the most exciting start imaginable...he's very quick, but nothing sounds rushed or garbled - the articulation of the orchestra is stunningly rhythmic and precise, with a lovely sense of shape and of direction - as is the choral singing...This is an exceptional Christmas Oratorio and it becomes one of the front-runners in a crowded field." -International Record Review

The Guardian
a wonderfully flexible and dramatically vivid account, constantly illuminated by the obbligatos from the Gewandhaus wind...Chailly manages to combine the rhythmic lightness of a period-instrument performance with the tonal richness of a traditional orchestra. It is by far the most successful of his Bach forays to date.

The Observer
Any discerning music fan will be thrilled to receive Bach's Christmas Oratorio (Decca), a superb new recording by Riccardo Chailly

The Independent
[Chailly] eschews the current trend towards period instrumentation, with no perceptible loss of authenticity. It's marvellously recorded, the solo vocalists sustaining poise and clarity against the full onslaught of choir and orchestra, while the fulsome brass brings a dazzling, burnished lustre to the performance.

BBC Music Magazine
Chailly's exhilaration is irresistible

Classic FM Magazine
If you like your Bach thick-set but with historically informed inflections, seek it out.

Sunday Times
His trumpets are spectacular and he brings a rare sense of drama and rediscovery to this glorious music.

International Record Review
The first chorus gets things off to the most exciting start imaginable...he's very quick, but nothing sounds rushed or garbled - the articulation of the orchestra is stunningly rhythmic and precise, with a lovely sense of shape and of direction - as is the choral singing...This is an exceptional Christmas Oratorio and it becomes one of the front-runners in a crowded field.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Gewandhaus zu Leipzig (01/07/2010-01/08/2010).



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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248
  • Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
  • Ensemble: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
  • Running Time: 113 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1734