Christmas Oratorio discography
The first commercial recording of the Christmas Oratorio appeared in 1950, and new versions have followed regularly. Many recorded versions feature musicians from German-speaking countries, where the work has become standard repertoire.
The early recordings use larger forces than Bach would have used when the work was premiered with the Thomanerchor in Leipzig in the 1734/35, when a boys' choir was accompanied by a comparatively small orchestra of Baroque instruments.
According to Gramophone, Nikolaus Harnoncourt's recording of 1972 was the first historically informed performance of the Christmas Oratorio. Since the 1970s many recordings of the Christmas Oratorio have used period instruments with a view to recreating the sounds envisaged by Bach. Choirs with one voice per part (OVPP), used in some historically informed performances of Bach's music, are rarely recorded in this work. There are a couple of interesting examples of the use of smaller choirs by British conductors. John Butt, in a recording made in 2015, chooses two voices per part for some of the choruses. This draws on the researches of Michael Maul into the choir of the Thomasschule.
Table of recordings
- Lehmann died during the recording sessions and was replaced by Günther Arndt
- Freeman-Attwood, Jonathan (2014). "Bach's Christmas Oratorio - which recording is best?". Gramophone. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- "Dunedin Consort: Approaching Classical Music with an Inquisitive Spirit". Creativescotland.com. 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Kemp, Lindsay. "JS BACH Christmas Oratorio". Gramophone. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- "Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 / Recordings – Part 2". Bach Cantatas Website.
- Fritz Lehmann & Berlin Motet Choir & Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works Bach Cantatas Website
- "Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 / Recordings – Part 3". Bach Cantatas Website.
- "Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 / Recordings – Part 4". Bach Cantatas Website.
- "Weinachts-Oratorium / Recordings - Part 5". Bach Cantatas Website.