Bach: Christmas Oratorio

Bach: Christmas Oratorio

Thirty five years after his first recording of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in 1972, Nikolaus Harnoncourt returned to it in performances caught live in Vienna’s Musikverein during Christmas 2006. With a lifetime’s experience of Bach’s music—and an ensemble acutely responsive to his vision—the Austrian conductor directs a reading of infectious joy. His soloists are very fine, with German tenor Werner Güra a wonderfully humane narrator of the Christmas story. His chorus, the excellent Arnold Schoenberg Choir, brings buoyancy and warmth, always duetting with the instruments of the Concentus Musicus Wien. Mastered in Spatial Audio in 2021, the recording now has an appealing depth that only seems to heighten the enveloping drama of this glorious work.

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