2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Bach: Christmas Oratorio (Audio CD)
This major work by Bach is magnificent and is worth investigating if you have never heard it and you like the oratorio format.
Bach's Christmas Oratorio consists of six cantatas. Bach has used pieces of composition before this but he brings everything together as one unified 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 instruments used include the four part string orchestra with keyboard continuo for organ. Cello and bassoon for bass, flutes instead of recorders, oboes, trumpets, and horns.
The composition opens with the jubilant D major chorus followed by words of the Evangelist from Luke's Gospal.
This recording is not the best recording but if you are on a tight budget then this is a reasonable way to get a flavour of this great work.
However the orchestra does seem a bit big. The sound is not the greatest either. It lacks depth and body and the mix arrangement is weak. The lead instruments are often lost in the orchestral body of sound.
The soprano Ingrid Kertesi, and alto Jozef Mukk do a reasonable job. The Hungarian radio choir and Falloni chamber orchestra also do well. But I feel they are lacking something and the performance needs an extra bit of energy.
I only make these points to illustrate why I say it's not the best recording. And I know that there are better recordings out there. But for a cheap way to discover this work, the recording is a worthy release. It's not as bad as some other reviewers paint it. I am quite happy with this interpretation of the Christmas Oratorio. I recommend this release as a starting point or for those that cannot afford to fork out for a more expensive release.