J S Bach - Weihnachtsoratorium | Challenge Classics CC72394

J S Bach - Weihnachtsoratorium

£21.80

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Label: Challenge Classics

Cat No: CC72394

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 24th November 2014

Contents

Artists

Sunhae Im (soprano)
Petra Noskaiova (mezzo-soprano)
Stephan Scherpe (tenor)
Jan van der Crabben (baritone)
La Petite Bande

Conductor

Sigiswald Kuijken

Works

Bach, Johann Sebastian

Christmas Oratorio (Weihnachts-Oratorium), BWV248

Artists

Sunhae Im (soprano)
Petra Noskaiova (mezzo-soprano)
Stephan Scherpe (tenor)
Jan van der Crabben (baritone)
La Petite Bande

Conductor

Sigiswald Kuijken

About

With this recording of the Weinachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio) the highly regarded early music specialist Sigiswald Kuijken and the group La Petite Bande have now recorded all of J S Bach’s great Oratorios in the scaled-down “one to a part” form. The featured vocalists here are the soprano Sunhae Im, the mezzo Petra Noskaiova, the tenor Stephan Scherpe, and the baritone Jan van der Crabben.

J S Bach’s Christmas Oratorio is a series of 6 separate smaller cantatas, collectively relating the story of Jesus from Christmas through to Twelfth Night. Bach wrote the work in Leipzig in 1734 and 1735. The performance presented here by Sigiswald Kuijken and La Petite Bande is perhaps as close as presently possible to what we imagine Bach might have had in mind as he composed the work.

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. Bach also employed a small-scale string ensemble, comprising of 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, as well as single wind instruments where appropriate. This is all supported by an organ which, in conjunction with the bass violin, acts as continuo.

The Belgian violinist, violist and conductor Sigiswald Kuijken was seven when he first came into contact with Renaissance instruments. Like his brother Wieland, he is self-taught on the viola da gamba. In 1969 he began to re-establish the old technique of violin playing, without using a chin or a shoulder rest. In 1972 he formed the Baroque Ensemble La Petite Bande with whom he has recorded music by Lully, Rameau, J S Bach, George Frideric Handel, Gluck, Haydn, Mozart and many others. He has made several previous recordings for Challenge Classics, including J S Bach’s Mass in B minor (CC72316), and St Matthew and St John Passions (CC72357 and CC723545).

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