Jun 11, Ref.: BWV German Title. Weihnachts-Oratorium. Latin Title. Oratorium Tempore Nativitatis Christi. English Title. Christmas Oratorio. J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio, BWV / Part One – For The First Day Of Christmas – No.7 Chorale: “Er ist auf Erden kommen arm”, Recitativ (Bass): Wer will die. The so-called Christmas Oratorio is unusual for this genre. It is not a single large work, like Bach’s other oratorios, but instead is really six cantatas which were.
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The Christmas Oratorio German: It was written for the Christmas season of and incorporates music from earlier compositions, including three secular cantatas written during and and a now lost church cantata, BWV a. The date is confirmed in Bach’s autograph manuscript.
Bach, J.S.: Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248
The Christmas Oratorio is a particularly sophisticated example of parody music. The author of the text is unknown, although a likely collaborator was Christian Friedrich Henrici Picander. All three of these oratorios to some degree parody earlier compositions. The Christmas Oratorio is by far the longest and most complex work of oatorio three.
The Christmas Oratorio is in six parts, each part being intended for performance on one of the major feast days of the Christmas period.
San Francisco Symphony – Bach, J.S.: Christmas Oratorio, BWV
The piece is often presented as a whole or split into two equal parts. The total running time for the entire work is nearly three hours.
The first part for Christmas Day describes the Birth of Jesusthe second for December 26 the annunciation to the shepherdsthe third for December 27 the adoration of the shepherdsthe fourth for New Year’s Day the circumcision and naming of Jesusthe fifth for the first Sunday after New Year the journey of the Magiand the sixth for Epiphany the adoration of the Magi.
Bach abandoned his usual practice when writing church cantatas of basing the content upon the Gospel reading for that day in order to achieve a coherent narrative structure. Were he to have followed the calendar, the story would have unfolded as follows:. This would have resulted in the Holy Family fleeing before the Magi had arrived, which was unsuitable for an oratorio evidently planned as a coherent whole. Bach removed the content for the Third Day of Christmas December 27John’s Gospel, and split the story of the two groups of visitors—Shepherds and Magi—into two.
This resulted in a more understandable exposition of the Christmas story:. That Bach saw the six parts as comprising a greater, unified whole is evident both from the surviving printed text and from the structure of the music itself. The edition has not only a title— Weihnachts-Oratorium —connecting together the six sections, but these sections are also numbered consecutively.
As John Butt has mentioned,  this points, as in the Mass in B minorto a unity beyond the performance constraints of the church year. The oratorio was written for performance on six feast days of Christmas during the winter of and The original score also contains details of when each part was performed. It was incorporated within services of the two most important churches in LeipzigSt.
As can be seen below, the work was only performed in its entirety at the St. Bach expresses the unity of the whole work within the music itself, in part through his use of key signatures. Parts I and III are similarly scored for exuberant trumpetswhile the Pastoral Part II referring to the Shepherds is, by contrast, scored for woodwind instruments and does not include an opening chorus. Part IV is written in F major the relative key to D minor and marks the furthest musical point away from the oratorio’s opening key, scored for horns.
Bach then embarks upon a journey back to the opening key, via the dominant A major of Part V to the jubilant re-assertion of D major in the final part, lending an overall arc to the piece. To reinforce this connection, between the beginning and the end of the work, Bach re-uses the chorale melody of Part I’s Wie soll ich dich empfangen in the final chorus of Part VI, Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen ; this choral melody is the same as of O Haupt voll Blut und Wundenwhich Bach used five times in his St Matthew Passion.
The music represents a particularly sophisticated expression of the parody technique, by which existing music is adapted to a new purpose. Bach took the majority of the choruses and arias from works which had been written some time earlier. Most of this music was ‘secular’, that is written in praise of royalty or notable local figures, outside the tradition of performance within the church.
In addition to these sources, the sixth cantata is thought to have been taken almost entirely from a now-lost church cantata, BWV a.
The trio aria in Part V Ach, wenn wird die Zeit erscheinen? The scoring below  refers to parts, rather than necessarily to individual players. Adherents of theories specifying small numbers of performers even to ‘One Voice Per Part’ may however choose to use numbers approaching one instrument per named part. The ease with which the new text fits the existing music is one of the indications of how successful a parody the Christmas Oratorio is of its sources. It may have even been the case that the Christmas Oratorio was already planned when Bach wrote the secular cantatas BWVandgiven that the original works were written fairly close to the oratorio and the seamless way with which the new words fit the existing music.
Nevertheless, on two occasions Bach abandoned the original plan and was compelled to write new music for the Christmas Oratorio. On this occasion, however, the parody technique proved to be unsuccessful and Bach composed the aria afresh. Similarly, the opening chorus to Part V, Ehre sei dir Gott!
Weihnachtsoratorium, BWV 248 (Bach, Johann Sebastian)
The third major new piece of writing with the notable exception of the recitativesthe sublime pastoral Sinfonia which opens Part II, was composed from scratch for the new work. In addition to the new compositions listed above, special mention must go to the recitatives, which knit together the oratorio into a coherent whole.
In particular, Bach made particularly effective use of recitative when combining it with chorales in no. Until the only complete English version of the Christmas Oratorio was that prepared in by John Troutbeck for the music publisher Novello.
Each section combines choruses a pastoral Sinfonia opens Part II instead of a choruschorales and from the soloists recitativesariosos and arias. By notational convention the recitatives are in common time.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Christmas Oratorio by J. For Christmas Oratorios by other composers, see Christmas Oratorio disambiguation. However, numbers 10, 12, 14, 17, 18, 19 and 21 in Part II call for 2 oboe d’amore and 2 oboe da caccia. This scoring was intended to symbolise the shepherds who are the subject of the second part. It is a reference to the pastoral music tradition of shepherds playing shawm -like instruments at Christmas.
Similarly, the pastoral sinfony in Handel’s Messiah is known as the ‘ Pifa ‘ after the Italian piffero or piffarosimilar to the shawm and an ancestor of the oboe. Masses, magnificat, passions and oratorios by Johann Sebastian Bach. Evangelist List of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Bacg Evangelist, tenor [II 1]. Flute I colla parte an octave above the alto soloist throughout2 oboe d’amore, 2 oboe da caccia, strings, continuo. Aria, Schlafe, mein Liebster, und pflege der Ruh. Aria, Ich bin deine, du bist meine.
Recitative Evangelist, tenor; Herodbass. Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier.