Saturday, 31 December 2016

Bach, Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), BWV 248, live from the Kölner Philharmonie

Quite simply the best concert I have attended. Well worth the trip from London. The Philharmonie's in-house team recorded the concert and is available for on-demand viewing (for how long I am not sure). The work is simultaneously choral, orchestral, sacred and didactic. Maestro Suzuki, not conducting from the harpsichords (a wise move I think), led a performance that dazzled the German audience. The English choir (four voices per part and all male altos) and orchestra, and the cast of four soloists (also singing the choir parts) were uniformly, exquisitely outstanding. Five stars without hesitation, and a wonderful way to mark the Christmas season. Programme available here with full performer details (in German). Recorded at 18.30 on 18 December 2016. ★★★★★