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Goethe Institut Choir

Christmas Oratorio

Monday 17th December, 2018

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Katy Kelly, Soprano
Christina Whyte, Alto
Dustin Drosdziok, Tenor
Eoghan Desmond , Bass

Goethe-Institut Choir
Goethe Ensemble
John Dexter, Conductor

Johann Sebastian Bach, Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, Cantatas 1, 3 and 4
Arvo Pärt Mother of God and Virgin
Sergei Rachmaninoff Bogorodeetse Dyevo, raduisya
Johannes Weyrauch  Maria durch ein Dornwald ging
Franz Xaver Gruber Stille Nacht

When he composed the six cantatas to be played on Christmas 1734 (now constituting the Christmas Oratorio), 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, was 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 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.

Presented by the Goethe Institut Choir