Tuesday, 26.12.2023
5.00 pm

Christmas Oratorio

Christmas Concert

Swiss Orchestra
Voces Suaves, choir and soli
Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer, conductor

Under the direction of Lena-Lisa Wüstendörfer, the Swiss Orchestra and the crystal-clear voices of the Voces Suaves ensemble will be performing festive cantatas from J. S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio”. Afterwards, ANDERMATT MUSIC invites its audience to enjoy mulled wine on the piazza in front of the Concert Hall.

Prices: CHF 135 / 105 / 85 / 60 / 45

Programme

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
”Christmas Oratorio” BWV 248 (excerpts from parts I to III)

About the programme

One of the principal ways of listening to music today – if one likes it or not – is the playlist. Whether it’s music for relaxation before going to sleep, music for concentration while studying or writing, music to wake up to on a morning, music for doing sport, music for romantic moments, music for driving, music for yoga, music for a rainy day or a day at the beach, or music to motivate us while cleaning: all these playlists can be compiled by algorithms that think they can anticipate what would be optimal for us to hear, or will put us in the most appropriate mood for whatever time or occasion.

Technically speaking, Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” is also music for a specific occasion that is heard at a very specific time of the year. It tells the Christmas story in music, and was first performed in Leipzig between 25 December 1734 and 6 January 1735. It comprises six parts, each written for a specific day: The first part, intended for Christmas Day, proclaims the imminent birth of Jesus Christ. Part two, for Boxing Day, tells of the adoration of the shepherds, while the third part, for 27 December, brings the story of the Three Wise Men from the East. This oratorio is the most popular of all Bach’s sacred vocal works, and its festive, celebratory mood captures the spirit of the Christmas season. But Bach was not just a prolific composer. He was also a pragmatist, not least because of his enormous workload. Reusing musical material from other works was also common during the Baroque period. So only some of the music for this “Christmas Oratorio” was actually composed anew by Bach, who otherwise took several choruses and arias from his previously composed secular works and adapted them to the new occasion. This merely proves how music can function in different contexts. It is by no means a testament to arbitrariness, but rather to music’s variability and mutability.

This concert with Voces Suaves and the Swiss Orchestra will include excerpts from parts I to III of the “Christmas Oratorio”, and will also feature an opportunity for the audience to sing along. Afterwards, the audience is invited to share some mulled wine on the Piazza Gottardo.

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