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Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the St George's Cathedral Consort

posted 24 Oct 2011, 07:02 by Thomas Friberg   [ updated 24 Oct 2011, 07:06 ]
7:30pm Thursday 15 December,
St George's Cathedral, Perth 

The Christmas Oratorio (in German: Weihnachtsoratorium), is an oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach intended for performance in church during the Christmas season. It was written for the Christmas season of 1734 incorporating music from earlier compositions, including three secular cantatas written during 1733 and 1734. The date is confirmed in Bach's autograph manuscript. The next performance was not until 17 December 1857 by the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin under Eduard Grell. The Christmas Oratorio is a particularly sophisticated example of parody music.

The work belongs to a group of three oratorios written towards the end of Bach's career in 1734 and 1735 for major feasts, the others being the Ascension Oratorio and the Easter Oratorio. All include a tenor Evangelist as narrator and parody earlier compositions, although the Christmas Oratorio is by far the longest and most complex work.

The first part (for Christmas Day) describes the Birth of Jesus, the second (for December 26) the annunciation to the shepherds, the third (for December 27) the adoration of the shepherds, the fourth (for New Year's Day) the circumcision and naming of Jesus, the fifth (for the first Sunday after New Year) the journey of the Magi, and the sixth (for Epiphany) the adoration of the Magi.

Tickets: $45 Standard, $38 Concession by BOCS or at the door. To book tickets for this event online please click here for BOCS.