Bach: Christmas Oratorio - Chailly (2CD)

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Martin Lattke, Carolyn Sampson, Wiebke Lehmkuhl, Wolfram Lattke, Konstantin Wolff, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Dresdner Kammerchor, Riccardo Chailly

Riccardo Chailly conducts Leipzig’s famous Gewandhausorchester in Johann Sebastian Bach’s glorious collection of cantatas, otherwise known as the Christmas Oratorio. An outstanding vocal cast includes Martin Lattke as the evangelist, acclaimed English soprano Carolyn Sampson and the voices of the Dresdner Kammerchor.

The six parts which make up the Christmas Oratorio tell the biblical story from Christ's birth to the adoration of the shepherds and the Magi, and the flight in to Egypt to escape Herod's slaughter of the infants. Having first conducted the Gewandhausorchester in 1986, Riccardo Chailly's association with Leipzig is now only one year less than Bach’s. Played on modern instruments, Chailly’s Bach beautifully demonstrates that vivid, stylistically aware performance is not the exclusive preserve of period instrument ensembles. This is the third of Bach's large-scale masterpieces recorded by the Gewandhausorchester under Riccardo Chailly and released on Decca and follows critical acclaim for The Brandenburg Concertos, released in January 2010 (4782191) and the St. Matthew Passion, released in March 2010 (4782194).

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BBC Music Magazine

3 Stars

"Chailly's exhilaration is irresistable"

International Record Review

"The first chorus gets things off to the most exciting start imaginable...he's very quick, but nothing sounds rushed or garbled - the articulation of the orchestra is stunningly rhythmic and precise, with a lovely sense of shape and of direction - as is the choral singing...This is an exceptional Christmas Oratorio and it becomes one of the front-runners in a crowded field."

The Guardian

4 Stars

"a wonderfully flexible and dramatically vivid account, constantly illuminated by the obbligatos from the Gewandhaus wind...Chailly manages to combine the rhythmic lightness of a period-instrument performance with the tonal richness of a traditional orchestra. It is by far the most successful of his Bach forays to date."

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Bach, J S: Christmas Oratorio, BWV248

Martin Lattke (Evangelist), Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Wiebke Lehmkuhl (alto), Wolfram Lattke (tenor), Konstantin Wolff (bass)

Leipzig Gewandhausorchester & Dresdner Kammerchor, Riccardo Chailly