Bach – Christmas Oratorio

Sunday 10 December 2023 at 5pm – Auckland Town Hall

.Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.
$35-$75 (Children/students from $20) [Service fees will also apply]

Bach Christmas Oratorio Parts 1 – 3

Rita Paczian Conductor
Joanna Foote Soprano
Stephen Diaz Countertenor
Iain Tetley Tenor
James Harrison Bass

The Christmas Oratorio (German: Weihnachtsoratorium), BWV 248, is an oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach intended for performance in church during the Christmas season. It is in six parts (this performance includes parts 1 – 3), each part a cantata intended for performance in a church service on a feast day of the Christmas period. It was written for the Christmas season of 1734 and incorporates music from earlier compositions, including three secular cantatas written during 1733 and 1734 and a largely lost church cantata, BWV 248a. The date is confirmed in Bach’s autograph manuscript. The next complete public performance was not until 17 December 1857 by the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin under Eduard Grell.[1] The Christmas Oratorio is a particularly sophisticated example of parody music.[2] The author of the text is unknown, although a likely collaborator was Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander).

The first part (for Christmas Day) describes the Birth of Jesus, the second (for 26 December) the annunciation to the shepherds, the third (for 27 December) the adoration of the shepherds.