Monday, 19 January 2015

A bastardised Weihnachtsoratorium - and some great ones

Oh dear, why must everything good be ruined by dance?

This is a favourite under maestro Harnoncourt:

And here's a recent performance conducted by Rene Jacobs (recorded 13 December 2014). Must be a record opening chorus - all over in just 6:30 (7:00 to 8:00 is the usual)! As always Jacobs questions the received wisdom and pushes his instruments and singers to their limits - sometimes at the expense of musicality. But there's no question that the maestro elicits some very fine music making. Chamber orchestra and choir are of the first class. Enjoy the thrill of it, or click here to watch the also exciting but musically safer Gardiner performance from his Bach pilgrimage in 2000.