By Brian McCreath | Thursday, December 23, 2010
While Handel's Messiah rightly holds its place as this country's classical musical soundtrack for the holiday season (quibble if you will about its Easter message; there's nothing wrong with talking about Easter at Christmas - just ask Bach!), it's J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio that rings through concert halls throughout Europe at this time of the year.
The six cantatas that make up the Christmas Oratorio, meant to be performed on six separate days throughout the liturgical Christmas season, tell the Christmas story as only Bach could. With a combination of individual and communal perspective on both the joyful and meditative aspects of the season, it's a piece that always offers performers the chance to find new perspectives, angles, and ways of expressing eternal thoughts and feelings.
If you'd like to hear all six part of the Christmas Oratorio, in a terrific performance led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, feel free to listen to them below.
Discovery Ensemble, with Music Director Courtney Lewis, launched its fifth season at Jordan Hall in Boston.
Hear the concert, along with past performances, and learn more about the season:
Discovery Ensemble was founded with a dual mission: to present chamber orchestra concerts at the highest possible level of performance, and to take those performances into Boston's schools to invigorate the music education of children.
Artistic Director David St. George and Music Director Courtney Lewis have pursued that mission relentlessly, earning rave reviews and a devoted following in the process.
Classical New England was at Jordan Hall for this season's opening concert on Oct. 21. Hear the concert:
Classical New England has hosted Discovery Ensemble in our Fraser Performance Studio several times. Those performances can be heard, along with several concert performances of the last four years, in special Sunday Concert presentations: