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Bach: Christmas Oratorio [Dorothee Mields, Damien Guillon, Thomas Hobbs] [Euroarts: 2059504] [Blu-ray] [2013]

Philippe Herreweghe , Dorothee Mields    Exempt   Blu-ray
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £29.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Bach: Christmas Oratorio [Dorothee Mields, Damien Guillon, Thomas Hobbs] [Euroarts: 2059504] [Blu-ray] [2013] + Mahler: Symphony No. 6 [Riccardo Chailly, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig] [Accentus: ACC10268] [Blu-ray] [2013] + Verdi: Messa Da Requiem [Gustavo Dudamel, I. D'Arcangelo, V. Grigolo] [C Major: 714804] [Blu-ray] [2013]
Price For All Three: £80.48

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Product details

  • Actors: Philippe Herreweghe, Dorothee Mields, Damien Guillon, Thomas Hobbs, Collegium Vocale Gent
  • Writers: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Format: Classical, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Japanese
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Euroarts
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Nov 2013
  • Run Time: 153 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,964 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

The Christmas Oratorio from Johann Sebastian Bach is the most famous Christmas work ever. The cantatas, written by Bach for the services from Christmas to the Epiphany, are now performed worldwide during the festive season.

This Blu-ray Disc contains an outstanding recording from the Salle Henry Le Buf in the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in December 2012 with the internationally-renowned Bach expert Philippe Herreweghe, winner of the Bach-Medal, the Collegium Vocale and superb soloists Dorothee Mields, Damien Guillon, Thomas Hobbs, Peter Kooij

Including all 6 cantatas and features subtitles in English, German, French and Japanese.

Picture format Blu-ray Disc: 1080i Full HD - 16:9
Sound format Blu-ray Disc: PCM Stereo, DTS-HD Master Audio
Region code: All (worldwide)
Subtitles: English, German, French, Japanese
Booklet notes: English, German, French
Running time: 153 min
German FSK: 0

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Herreweghe always comes up trumps. 4 Feb 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This was the 3rd (& most recent) performance of Bach's Christmas Oratorio that I purchased. I donated the other two to charity after I'd watched this one. Herreweghe is totally reliable. He always picks excellent soloists, his tempos are never silly or extreme, he always uses period instruments, and his choral forces are always decently smallish. No other conductor can touch him when it comes to interpreting JS Bach. And I must say that he brought this (to me) hugely familiar work back to new life for me. Excellent sound, excellent picture. The Blu Ray version is worth the bit of extra money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Chamber" Christmas Oratorio 18 Dec 2013
By jrgc
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This is a very nice recording of these 6 cantatas. Very few performers (the choir is only 4 sopranos, 1 alto + 3 countertenors, 4 tenors and 4 basses, and I think there are less than 20 instrumentists). But they are all great. The vocal soloists sing with the chorus in the choral parts.

I think this is a very historically informed performance, first (obviusly) because the instruments are "historical", and second because Bach probably had no more than 40 musicians at his disposal when these cantatas where first performed.

The only "unhistorical thing" is probably that the choir is not a boys choir, but this is not a problem for me: I've enjoyed this recording a lot.

Please excuse my English, English is not my mother tongue.
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This disc was recorded during one performance in December 20 2012. This is worth noting because, unlike many 'live' performances, it has not been stitched together from several 'live' performances and is a genuine one-off performance. Bearing that in mind, the recording is remarkably successful by avoiding distractions such as any hint of audience noise or restlessness. Bach intended it to be a continuous work but performed over a period of six days, one for each cantata over the Christmas period. That option may suit many viewers who will be able to choose their listening preferences, but the audience on this occasion clearly found the complete six cantatas performed as one continuous work to be a very satisfying experience and listen with rapt attention throughout.

The accuracy of the playing over such an extended time is also a tribute to the skills of the orchestral players and the singers. The trumpets are worth a special mention as the high lying, and often solo writing, of the lead trumpet is especially demanding and Alain De Rudder plays with apparent and consummate ease. Other orchestral soloists worth a special mention are Christine Busch as lead violin, Marcel Ponseele on oboe and Benoit Laurent on the oboe Da Caccia. All of these play with total surety and with first class tonal control, as indeed, do their colleagues as a group.

The small mixed choir also deliver an excellent performance with well modulated tonal control and well balanced part singing. The four soloists, Dorothee Mields (soprano), Damien Guillon (alto), Thomas Hobbs (tenor) and Peter Kooij (bass) make an excellently balanced group on the rare instances when they sing in partnership with each other, but more particularly as soloists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Herreweghe's Christmas present 19 Nov 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Yes, Herreweghe is a sure bet for Christmas! This blu-ray wasn't really a surprise; if one has listened to Herreweghe's Bach before one enters here into a familiar terrain: warm sound, mid-tempo ('jazzy') playing and first-class singing (Mields, Guillon, Hobbs, Kooij and the magnificent Collegium Vocale Chorus). There is no Jacobs's dramaturgy nor spirit-raising of the old times. Familiar is also the way of the production: the cameras are with the drama of the performance but there's no 'drama' in the shooting itself. So, in this sense this is a typical Euroarts production. The sound (DTS & PCM) is almost a first-rate (noting that it is a live take from the Palais des Beaux-Arts) but sadly there is bit too strong echo in the hall (and possibly some side-noise related to the recording itself in some parts). One also has to note that all six cantatas are performed. Easily recommended to everybody's Christmas (and to the time before the next year's Christmas).
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic performance 25 Oct 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This is a great interpretation of the Christmas Oratorio. Great sound and image. And this is a All Regions format (not Region A, as told in the product description)
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