Bach: Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio)

Bach: Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio)

In his 1997 recording of the Christmas Oratorio, René Jacobs imagined Bach in primary colors, an approach backed to the hilt by players and singers who understand the work and care about its meaning. The album’s rich contrasts and myriad details bloom in its compelling Dolby Atmos remastering, underpinned by an enhanced bassline and a sound picture that draws the listener deep into the action. The rebalanced sound, clear yet warm, amplifies the energy and drama of Jacobs’ heartfelt storytelling, as does the enhanced feeling of space between solo voices and instruments. Berlin’s RIAS chamber choir and the ace period-instrument players of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin emerge here as equals in power and presence, exquisitely so in the opening choruses of the work’s first and third cantatas.

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