Bach's celebrated Christmas Oratorio forges a link between birth and deliverance. The birth of Christ is depicted not only the birth of light and innocence but equally points to the suffering to come. In this respect the Christmas Oratorio is akin to the St. Matthew Passion and the St. John Passion. Guilt and innocence, suffering and deliverance are present from the moment a mother holds her child in her arms.
The book on Bach's Christmas Oratorio included with the discs lends credence to Jan Willem de Vriend's musical interpretation of the work. It comprises an interview with De Vriend himself, carried out by the musicologist Frits de Haen, a short history of how the work came into being and an article on the liturgical significance of the six cantatas by the internationally renowned musicologist Robin A. Leaver. The book is also replete with eight full-page photos, which explore the Mother and Child theme across the globe, taken by the photographer Eddy Posthuma de Boer.
In September 2006 Jan Willem de Vriend was appointed chief conductor of the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Having studied the violin at the conservatories of Amsterdam and Den Haag, De Vriend went on to found the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam in 1982. In his capacity as violinist and artistic director of this ensemble he has conducted numerous concerts and opera productions both in the Netherlands and abroad. The Consorts repertoire concentrates on the period 1600-1800, not only familiar works but also lesser-known masterpieces, which are often only available in manuscript form.
Cappella Amsterdam was founded in 1970 and has, in recent years, established a prominent position for itself in the fields of early, modern and contemporary music under the artistic direction of Daniel Reuss, director and artistic leader since 1990. In 2003 Reuss was appointed chief conductor of the RIAS Kammerchor in Berlin. As a guest conductor he works with ensembles such as the Schönberg Ensemble, musikFabrik, Radio Chamber Orchestra, Collegium Vocale Gent, Concerto Köln and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.
Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, Capella Amsterdam, Jan Willem de Vriend - (conductor)
CC 76607; CHALLENGE CLASSICS - Olanda; Classica vocale Sacra Oratori