Goethe-Institut Choir: Bach Christmas Oratorio

Goethe-Institut Choir: Bach Christmas Oratorio

Monday, 17 December 2018, 8.00pm

The Goethe-Institut Choir presents JS Bach’s Christmas Oratorio performing three spectacular sections scored for full orchestra including trumpets, horns and timpani, Arvo Pärt and international carols.
When he composed the six cantatas (now constituting the Christmas Oratorio), to be played over the Christmas period in 1734, Johann Sebastian Bach was Cantor (head-musician and composer) at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. Christian Friedrich Henrici, Leipzig postmaster and tax collector, who wrote under the pseudonym Picander, is thought to have contacted Bach in 1724, a year after the latter had moved to Leipzig, and arranged to provide a number of librettos. Apparently in 1734, Bach asked Picander to help him with a large Christmas composition. Picander arranged the text in 6 sections, assigning each to one day of the Christmas holiday. The first part (for Christmas Day) describes the Birth of Jesus, the third (for December 27) the adoration of the shepherds, and the fourth (for New Year's Day) the circumcision and naming of Jesus.

The Goethe-Institut Choir is one of the leading exponents of early and contemporary choral music with particular expertise in the interpretation of JS Bach. This concert presents Bach as he intended with the original German text and instrumentation, along with settings of Ave Maria by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Arvo Pärt. There will also be international carols with audience participation.

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Published on 5 November 2018

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