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Bach: Christmas Oratorio Box set

4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Performer: Nancy Argenta, Anne Sofie von Otter, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Hans-Peter Blochwitz
  • Orchestra: Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists
  • Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (4 Nov. 1987)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Archiv Produktion
  • ASIN: B0000057D5
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,938 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. No.1 Chorus: "Jauchzet, frohlocket" - The Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  2. No.2 Evangelist: "Es begab sich aber zu der Zeit" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  3. No.3 Rezitativ (Alt): "Nun wird mein liebster Bräutigam" - Anne Sofie von Otter, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  4. No.4 Aria (Alto): " Bereite dich, Zion" - Anne Sofie von Otter, Anthony Robson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  5. No.5 Choral: "Wie soll ich dich empfangen" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  6. No.6 Evangelist: "Und sie gebar ihren ersten Sohn" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  7. No.7 Chorale: "Er ist auf Erden kommen arm", Recitativ (Bass): Wer will die Liebe recht erhöhn" - Olaf Bär, The Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  8. No.8 Aria (Baß): "Großer Herr, o starker König" - Olaf Bär, Crispian Steele-Perkins, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  9. No.9 Choral: "Ach mein herzliebes Jesulein" - The Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  10. No.10 Sinfonia - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  11. No.11 Evangelist: "Und es waren Hirten in derselben Gegend" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  12. No.12 Chorale: "Brich an, o schönes Morgenlicht" - The Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  13. No.13 Evangelist, Engel: "Und der Engel sprach zu Ihnen" - Ruth Holton, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  14. No.14 Rezitativ (Baß): "Was Gott dem Abraham Verheißen" - Olaf Bär, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  15. No.15 Aria (Tenor): "Frohe Hirten, eilt, ach eilet" - Hans Peter Blochwitz, Lisa Beznosiuk, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  16. No.16 Evangelist: "Und das habt zum Zeichen" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  17. No.17 Chorale: "Schaut hin, dort liegt im finstern Stall" - The Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  18. No.18 Rezitativ (Baß): "So geht denn hin, ihr Hirten, geht" - Olaf Bär, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  19. No.19 Aria (Alto): "Schlafe, mein Liebster, geniesse der Ruh" - Anne Sofie von Otter, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  20. No.20 Evangelist: "Und alsbald war da bei dem Engel" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  21. No.21 Chor: "Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  22. No.22 Rezitativ (Baß): "So recht, ihr Engel, jauchzt und singet" - Olaf Bär, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  23. No.23 Chorale: "Wir singen dir in deinem Heer" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  24. No.24 Chor: "Herrscher des Himmels, erhöre das Lallen" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  25. No.25 Evangelist: "Und da die Engel von ihnen gen Himmel fuhren" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  26. No.26 Chor: "Lasset uns nun gehen gen Bethlehem" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  27. No.27 Rezitativ (Baß): "Er hat sein Volk getröst" - Olaf Bär, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  28. No.28 Choral: "Dies hat er alles uns getan" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  29. No.29 Duett (Sopran, Baß): "Herr, dein Mitleid, dein Erbarmen" - Nancy Argenta, Olaf Bär, Anthony Robson, Valerie Darke, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  30. No.30 Evangelist: "Und sie kamen eilend" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  31. No.31 Aria (Alt): "Schließe, mein Herze, dies selige Wunder" - Anne Sofie von Otter, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  32. No.32 Recitativ (Alt): "Ja, ja, mein Herz soll es bewahren" - Anne Sofie von Otter, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  33. No.33 Choral: "Ich will dich mit Fleiß bewahren" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  34. No.34 Evangelist: "Und die Hirten kehrten wieder um" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  35. No.35 Choral: "Seid froh dieweil" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  36. No.24 Chor: "Herrscher des Himmels, erhöre das Lallen" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir

Disc: 2

  1. No.36 Chor: "Fallt mit Danken, fallt mit Loben" - The Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  2. No.37 Evangelist: "Und da acht Tage um waren" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  3. No.38 Rezitativ (Baß): "Immanuel, o süßes Wort" Arioso (Chor-Sopran, Baß): "Jesu, du mein liebstes Leben"-"Komm ich will dich mit Lust umfassen" - Nancy Argenta, Olaf Bär, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  4. No.39 Aria (Soprano, Echo-soprano): "Flösst, mein Heiland, flösst dein Namen" - Nancy Argenta, Katie Pringle, Anthony Robson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  5. No.40 Rezitativ (Baß): "Wohlan, dein Name soll allein" Arioso (Chor-Sopran): "Jesu mein Freud und Wonne" - Nancy Argenta, Olaf Bär, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  6. No.41 Aria (Tenor): "Ich will nur dir zu Ehren leben" - Hans Peter Blochwitz, Alison Bury, Maya Homburger, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  7. No.42 Choral: "Jesus richte mein Beginnen" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  8. No.43 Chor: "Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  9. No.44 Evangelist: "Da Jesu geboren war zu Bethlehem" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  10. No.45 Chor: "Wo ist der neugeborne König der Juden?" - Rezitativ (Alt): "Sucht ihn in meiner Brust" - Anne Sofie von Otter, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  11. No.46 Choral: "Dein Glanz all Finsternis verzehrt" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  12. No.47 Aria (Bass): "Erleucht auch meine finstre Sinnen" - Olaf Bär, Anthony Robson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  13. No.48 Evangelist: "Da das der König Herodes hörte" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  14. No.49 Rezitativ (Alt): "Warum wollt ihr erschrecken?" - Anne Sofie von Otter, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  15. No.50 Evangelist: "Und ließ versammeln alle Hohepriester" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  16. No.51 Terzetto (Soprano, Alto, Tenor): "Ach, wann wird die Zeit erscheinen?" - Nancy Argenta, Anne Sofie von Otter, Hans Peter Blochwitz, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  17. No.52 Rezitativ (Alt): "Mein Liebster herrschet schon" - Anne Sofie von Otter, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  18. No.53 Choral: "Zwar ist solche Herzensstube" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  19. No.54 Chor: "Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  20. No.55 Evangelist: "Da berief Herodes die Weisen heimlich" - Herodes: "Ziehet hin und forschet fleißig" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Olaf Bär, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  21. No.56 Rezitativ (Sopran): "Du Falscher, suche nur den Herrn zu fällen" - Nancy Argenta, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  22. No.57 Aria (Sopran): "Nur ein Wink von seinen Händen" - Nancy Argenta, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  23. No.58 Evangelist: "Als sie nun den König gehöret hatten" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  24. No.59 Chorale: "Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir
  25. No.60 Evangelist: "Und Gott befahl ihnen im Traum" - Anthony Rolfe Johnson, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  26. No.61 Rezitativ (Tenor): "So geht! Genug, mein Schatz geht nicht von hier" - Hans Peter Blochwitz, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  27. No.62 Aria (Tenor): "Nun mögt ihr stolzen Feinde schrecken" - Hans Peter Blochwitz, Anthony Robson, Valerie Darke, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  28. No.63 Rezitativ (Sopran, Alt, Tenor, Baß): "Was will der Hölle Schrecken nun?" - Nancy Argenta, Anne Sofie von Otter, Hans Peter Blochwitz, Olaf Bär, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
  29. No.64 Choral: "Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen" - English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, The Monteverdi Choir

Product Description

Bach: Christmas Oratorio / Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists . Release Date: 10/25/1990 . Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg) . Catalog #: 423 232 . Spars Code: DDD . Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach . Performer: Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Nancy Argenta, Hans-Peter Blochwitz, ... Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner . Orchestra/Ensemble: English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir . Number of Discs: 2 . Recorded in: Stereo . Length: 2 Hours 20 Mins. Works on This Recording: 1. Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 by Johann Sebastian Bach Performer: Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Nancy Argenta (Soprano), Hans-Peter Blochwitz (Tenor), Olaf Bär (Bass), Ruth Holton (Soprano), Katie Pringle (Soprano) Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner Orchestra/Ensemble: English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir Period: Baroque Written: 1734-1735; Leipzig, Germany Date of Recording: 01/1987 Venue: EMI Abbey Road Studios, London Length: 140 Minutes 4 Secs. Language: German Notes: Composition written: Leipzig, Germany (1734 - 1735).

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This might very well be the ultimate recording of the Christmas Oratorio. Orchestra, choir, soloists and conductor are all fabolous. Precise, inspired and vibrant. There really aren't any flaws with this one- it goes straight to the heart.
My largest compliment to Bonney, von Otter, Rolfe-Johnson, Crook and Bär, The Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and not least Sir John.
I will compare this to two other recordings:
If you like your baroque music with a little more meat than in period performances, you should go for Richter's recording and enjoy Fritz Wunderlich as the evangelist. Richter has a more powerful, but also a little more cumbersome sound than Gardiner, but if you can't live without a large choir and traditional instruments, Richter is the one to go for.
Secondly, I will mention the obvious period performance competitor, namely the one from Harmonia Mundi with Rene Jacobs conducting. While that is also a notable account, it is more "puritan" in the presentation and the artistic impression is more dry and academic than with Gardiner. And Jacobs uses the default Harmonia Mundi alto, counter tenor Andreas Scholl, to sing the part of the Virgin Mary. Although he sounds more like a woman than most counter tenors, there is just something wrong with a man singing "Schlafe, mein Liebste". There is nothing to suggest, that Bach didn't use a female contralto for the Christmas Oratorio, so please stop thinking that it is historically correct to have this part sung by a man... it's just plain "Life of Brian" to have the Holy Mother played by a man in falsetto. Take Anne-Sofie von Otter in this recording to hear what a baroque mezzo should sound like in period performance.
Or do like me and get both Richter and Gardiner.
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By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Dec. 2007
Format: Audio CD
This disc is a bit of an oddity. I can give it a perfectly sincere recommendation, but I think I had better explain myself carefully, and explain exactly what I am recommending.

The spirit of the selection is much what you would expect in a disc entitled `Christmas Treats from JSB' or `Immortal Melodies from The Christmas Oratorio' or something of that sort. Bach's Christmas Oratorio is not an oratorio in the Handelian sense. In the 1730's Bach faithfully turned out a cantata for each Sunday and major feast, but in one particular year he elected to reprocess some of his older music, most of it secular originally, and string the numbers together for the entire festive season under the overall title of `Christmas Oratorio'. Borrowing, adaptation and recomposition of earlier music, sometimes one's own sometimes someone else's, was a standard practice at the time. Nobody saw anything wrong with it, and to this day neither do I. Neither Bach nor Handel can exactly be taxed with lack of original output in astonishing quantities, and it is not as if the recycling of the material was not quite a major task in its own right. The Christmas Oratorio is commonly viewed as a lesser work than the B minor Mass or the St Matthew Passion, and while I probably go along with that view to a certain extent, I don't do so for the reasons I usually see argued. The secular origin of the music is neither here nor there in my opinion - all Bach's music is explicitly written for the greater glory of God. Also, when I see this work compared to its disadvantage with the B minor Mass on grounds of recycling, I have to recall that the B minor Mass itself is made up of recycled material practically from start to finish.
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4 Comments 39 of 43 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
The Christmas Oratorio is a bright and brilliant work from the first sound of the timpani and the chorus singing "Christians Be Joyful". Even if you are an atheist, it is hard not to be moved by this thrilling sound. John Eliot Gardiner conducts his Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists with customary skill, the soloists are good, the ensemble singing electric and the orchestra great. I've beginning to think it is hard to go wrong when buying anything from this stable....
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wonderful! A beautiful recording. I shall play it every Christmas! - along with Handel's Messiah' and Menotti's 'Amal and the Night Visitors'...
Now, if I could just find a decent English translation recording of it - I particularly love "Beside the Cradle here I Stand".
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By Marcia TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Dec. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This major work by Bach is magnificent and is worth investigating if you have never heard it. On this recording you get a really excellent performance of this great work.
Bach's Christmas Oratorio consists of six cantatas. Bach has used pieces of the composition before this but he brings everything together as one unified and new work.
The original intention was for performance of each part on a different day during the twelve days of Christmas. The first three parts deal with Christmas itself and the birth of Christ. The fourth deals with the naming of Jesus and the fifth deals with the reactions of King Herod. The final part deals with the visit of the wise men.
The composition opens with the jubilant D major chorus followed by words of the Evangelist from Luke's Gospal.
The whole recording is on period instruments without over the top vibrato on strings and choir.
The sound and balance of everyone in the recording is excellent. This is a great oratorio and an excellent interpretation.
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