Episode 20: Christmas Oratorio with Leipzig Radio Choir

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Today is the final My Daily Bach episode during our Backstock celebration. Thank you so much for coming to listen to this series. We will be taking a break from the podcast to investigate whether we an expand it to include more composers. If you would like to give us feedback on My Daily Bach or give us ideas for how to improve our music podcast, post a comment below. All downloads will remain on the site, courtesy of Universal Music Classics, until December 15th.

Today's free download features a movement of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, performed by the Leipzig Radio Choir and Staatskapelle Dresden.

Christmas Oratorio BWV 248: Jauchzet Frolocket!
Johann Sebastian Bach
Leipzig Radio Choir; Staatskapelle Dresden
Peter Schreier, conductor
Available at Arkivmusic.com

If you think of an oratorio as an unstaged, concert-length work that tells a story with music for individual characters and ensembles, that’s exactly right. But Bach’s Christmas Oratorio is a little bit different. It’s actually a sequence of six church cantatas, each to be performed on a different day of the Christmas holidays. Bach did some smart recycling when he wrote this work. The opening chorus comes from a secular cantata he’d written earlier, for the birthday celebration of the Queen of Poland, so the celebratory sound in the music is just right. The original text describes the drums and trumpets and strings that sound forth in the music. The Christmas version let the instruments speak for themselves. The words urge people to, “Shout, exult, rise up and glorify the day,” and infectious waves of rejoicing roll on and on through this music. Here’s that opening chorus, from the Staatskapelle Dresden and Leipzig Radio Choir, conducted by Peter Schreier.

This and all episodes of the Daily Bach podcast are no longer available for download. You may follow our new show My Classical Podcast instead.


Comments [4]

M.A., from Ottawa, Canada.

I loved the Bach series, and now I can enjoy a Bach sampler whenever I wish. I enjoy the explanatory remarks. It puts the music into a context for me--historical,social.etc. Has anyone thought about a single composer series featuring Haydn? A giant influence at a time of evolution.
I have to admit that Bach was a very welcome change from Beethoven--I feel overdosed on the Ludwig diet.

Dec. 12 2014 02:18 PM
Mary from Pittsburgh PA

I love these daily podcasts. Don't know much about Bach and so I love the commentary at the beginning. Would love these to continue. Thanks.

Dec. 03 2014 01:37 PM
NY Earthling from New York, Earth

@Wordwizard, I happen to like Jeff Spurgeon's blather. In fact, I look forward to it on my commutes to work.

That said, you have a valid point about descriptives coming at the end rather than beginning if these downloads are to be enjoyed over and over. And I second the request for Early Music downloads. WQXR, how about a Predominantly Purcell festival?

Nov. 28 2014 06:48 PM

I wish the podcasts would start with the music, not with a minute and more of blather. It might be interesting to read once, but not to listen to each and every time before getting to the music. An ID of what the music is can FOLLOW the music, and then the blather, which can then be cut off if you've heard it before.

I hope more Early Music downloads will be made available, with this modification.

Nov. 28 2014 06:38 AM

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