No less than 100 choir singers, four soloists and 20 orchestral musicians performed in this concert, bringing out the impetuous joy that is present throughout the Christmas Oratorio.
Of the six cantatas that make up the Oratorio, performed successively between Christmas 1734 and Epiphany 1735 in Leipzig, the Paris Choral Society selected the first three and the last, which form a unified harmonic sound set around the triumphant key of D major. Largely inspired by Bach cantatas composed in honor of the royal family of Saxony, the music of the Christmas Oratorio unfolds with the bright sound of trumpets, timpani and a rich and festive orchestral palette. The PCS was accompanied by the Paris Choral Society Camerata on baroque instruments, delivering the Oratorio’s exalted vision of praise to the “King of kings.”
The singers of the Paris Choral Society were transformed into a constellation of side by side quartets for this concert, magnifying the scale of harmony and richness of the counterpoint. It will be like a multi-sound kaleidoscope for the listener, bringing out in every part of the room, “an overabundance of strength, excessive expansion, something ordinary, that one experiences and that leads you along” — all characteristics of Bach’s masterpiece, according to his famous biographer, André Pirro.
Conductor: Zachary Ullery
Amelia Berridge (soprano)
Louise Callinan (alto)
Matthieu Justine (tenor)
Rene Ramos Premier (bass)