Christmas Oratorio : Work information

Johann Sebastian Bach ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Helmuth Rilling (Conductor)

This work

Work name
Christmas Oratorio
Work number
BWV 248
1730-01-01 02:01:00

This recording

Michael Sandner, Andreas Priemer
Friedemann Trump
Recording date
2000-01-01 02:01:00

Track listing

  • Part 1 - Chorus: 'Jauchzet, frohlocket, auf preiset die Tage' 7:25 min
  • Recit: 'Es begab sich aber zu der Zeit' 1:24 min
  • Recit: 'Nun wird mein liebster Bräutigam' 1:03 min
  • Aria: 'Bereite dich, Zion, mit herrlichen Trieben' 5:15 min
  • Chorale: 'Wie soll ich dich empfangen?' 1:19 min
  • Recit: 'Und sie gebar ihren ersten Sohn' 0:30 min
  • Chorale and Recit: 'Er ist auf Erden kommen arm' 2:58 min
  • Aria: 'Großer Herr, o sterker König' 4:28 min
  • Chorale: 'Ach mein herzliebes Jesulein' 1:20 min
  • Part 2 - Sinfonia 5:19 min
  • Recit: 'Und es waren Hirten in derselben Gegend' 0:40 min
  • Chorale: 'Brich an, o schönes Morgenlicht' 1:06 min
  • Recit: 'Und der Engel sprach zu ihnen' 0:46 min
  • Recit: 'Was Gott dem Abraham verheißen' 0:48 min
  • Aria: 'Frohe Hirten, eilt, ach eilet' 3:22 min
  • Recit: 'Und das habt zum Zeichen' 0:25 min
  • Chorale: 'Schaut hin, dort liegt im finstern Stall' 0:42 min
  • Recit: 'So geht denn hin, ihr Hirten, geht' 1:03 min
  • Aria: 'Schlafe, mein Liebster, genieße der Ruh' 10:01 min
  • Recit: 'Und alsobald war da' 0:13 min
  • Chorus: 'Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe' 2:36 min
  • Recit: 'So recht, ihr Engel, jauchzt und singet' 0:24 min
  • Chorale: 'Wir singen dir in deinem Heer' 1:14 min
  • Part 3 - Chorus: 'Herrscher des Himmels, erhöre das Lallen' 1:51 min
  • Recit: 'Und da die Engel von ihnen gen Himmel fuhren' 0:10 min
  • Chorus: 'Lasset uns nun gehen gen Bethlehem' 0:42 min
  • Recit: 'Er hat sein volk getröst' 0:47 min
  • Chorale: 'Dies hat er alles uns getan' 0:47 min
  • Duet: 'Herr, dein Mitleid, dein Erbarmen' 7:04 min
  • Recit: 'Und sie kamen eilend' 1:26 min
  • Aria: 'Schließe, mein Herze, dies selige Wunder' 5:52 min
  • Recit: 'Ja, ja, mein Herz soll es bewahren' 0:29 min
  • Chorale: 'Ich will dich mit Fleiß bewahren' 1:12 min
  • Recit: 'Und die Hirten kehrten wieder um' 0:24 min
  • Chorale: 'Seid froh dieweil' 0:54 min
  • Chorus: 'Herrscher des Himmels, erhöre das Lallen' 1:58 min
  • Part 4 - Chorus: 'Fallt mit Danken, fallt mit Loben' 5:44 min
  • Recit: 'Und da acht Tage um waren' 0:34 min
  • Recit and Chorale: 'Immanuel, o süßes Wort' 2:43 min
  • Aria: 'Flößt, mein Heiland, flößt dein Namen' 5:13 min
  • Recit and Chorale: 'Wohlan, dein Name soll allein' 1:36 min
  • Aria: 'Ich will nur dir zu Ehren leben' 4:40 min
  • Chorale: 'Jesus, richte mein Beginnen' 2:04 min
  • Part 5 - Chorus: 'Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen' 6:51 min
  • Recit: 'Da Jesus geboren war zu Bethlehem' 0:22 min
  • Chorus and Recit: 'Wo ist der neugeborne König der Jüden' 2:08 min
  • Chorale: 'Dein Glanz all Finsternis verzehrt' 0:56 min
  • Aria: 'Erleucht auch meine finstre Sinnen' 4:25 min
  • Recit: 'Da das der König Herodes hörte' 0:10 min
  • Recit: 'Warum wollt ihr erschrecken' 0:36 min
  • Recit: 'Und ließ versammlen alle Hohepriester' 1:24 min
  • Terzetto: 'Ach, wenn wird die Zeit erscheinen' 4:42 min
  • Recit: 'Mein Liebster herrschet schon' 0:34 min
  • Chorale: 'Zwar ist solche Herzensstube' 1:22 min
  • Part 6 - Chorus: 'Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben' 4:47 min
  • Recit: 'De bereif Herodes die Weisen heimlich' 0:43 min
  • Recit: 'Du Falscher, suche nur den Herrn zu fällen' 0:48 min
  • Aria: 'Nur ein Wink von seinen Händen' 3:19 min
  • Recit: 'Als sie nun den König gehöoret hatten' 1:12 min
  • Chorale: 'Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier' 1:14 min
  • Recit: 'Und Gott befahl ihnen im Traum' 0:26 min
  • Recit: 'So geht! Genug, mein Schatz' 1:58 min
  • Aria: 'Nun mögt ihr stolzen Feinde schrecken' 3:51 min
  • Recit: 'Was will der Höllen Schrecken nun' 0:38 min
  • Chorus: 'Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen' 2:59 min

The Composers

Johann Sebastian Bach

One of the greatest composers in history, Johann Sebastian Bach (father of C.P.E, J. C. and W. F. Bach) was by far the most significant member of the Bach dynasty of musicians.

He outshone his forebears and contemporaries, but did not always receive the respect he deserved in his own lifetime. After a brief engagement as a violinist in the court of Weimar, Bach became organist at the Neukirche in Arnstadt. In June 1707 he moved to St. Blasius, Mühlhausen, and married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach. In 1708 he was appointed court organist in Weimar where he composed most of his works for organ. In 1717, he was appointed Court Kapellmeister to the young Prince Leopold at Cöthen, but was refused permission to leave Weimar. The Duke only allowed Bach to go after holding him prisoner for nearly a month.

While at Weimar, Bach wrote his violin concertos and the six Brandenburg Concertos, as well as several suites, sonatas and keyboard works, including several, such as the Inventions and Book I of the 48 Preludes and Fugues (The Well-tempered Clavier). In 1720 Maria Barbara died, and the next year Bach married Anna Magdalena Wilcke. Bach resigned the post in Weimar in 1723 to become cantor at St. Thomas’ School in Leipzig where he was responsible for music in the four main churches of the city. Here he wrote the Magnificat and the St. John and St. Matthew Passions, as well as a large quantity of other church music. In Leipzig he eventually took charge of the University “Collegium Musicum” and occupied himself with the collection and publication of many of his earlier compositions.

Over the years that followed, Bach’s interest in composing church music declined somewhat, and he took to writing more keyboard music and cantatas. As his eyesight began to fail, he underwent operations to try and correct the problem, and these may have weakened him in his old age. He died at age 65, having fathered a total of 20 children with his two wives. Despite widespread neglect for almost a century after his death, Bach is now regarded as one of the greatest of all composers and is still an inexhaustible source of inspiration for musicians. Bach’s compositions are catalogued by means of the prefix BWV (Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis) and a numbering system which is generally accepted for convenience of reference.

Related Composers: Pachelbel, Telemann, Handel, Couperin

Also influenced: Mendelssohn, Brahms, Stravinsky, Hindemith