Talk:Christmas Oratorio

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So does it consist of 6 cantatas or various chorales, ...., and cantatas?

Six cantatas, each containing several chorales (and choruses). Michael Bednarek 12:09, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

This article needs a lot of work[edit]

I am very dubious about several assertions in this article.

  • written in 1734? Rather: written for the Christmas season of 1734/35.
  • text by Picander/Henrici? That's true for two other passions of Bach's, but not this one.
  • Everything in the section Music is either wrong or superfluous.
  • Wrong:
    • The music of the Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio) consists of various chorales, arias and cantatas.
    • ... and recitativos and choir pieces and one sinfonia.
    • Every sung text is accompanied by the chorus, contrary to the St. Matthew Passion.
    • Most recitativos and solo arias are not accompanied by the chorus.
    • There are also no big chorales in the Weihnachtsoratorium.
    • What's a big chorale? A chorale is a strophic hymn and is never very long. All chorales in this work are set in counterpoint, fully instrumented, sometimes elaborately so.
  • Superfluous:
    • Bach used many previous works in the Weihnachtsoratorium. He used at least 19 previously written pieces, for example BWV 213, 214 and 215.
    • This has already been mentioned at the beginning of the article.
  • It's not First piece but Part 1 or On the First Day of Christmas. If it only cites the German text of the first recitativo (with errors), this section might as well be omitted - less is more. If more is wanted, look at de:Weihnachtsoratorium (Bach).

Michael Bednarek 12:09, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Music notation?[edit]

What the heck does this mean?

In any case, a key and time signatures for a recitative are merely musical notation.

As opposed to...? —Wahoofive (talk) 08:25, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

I've rewritten a little (the given keys need a more thorough checking) but am finding this more and more interesting. Recitativo secco is customarily written without key signature, as in Mozart & Rossini operas or Haydn's Creation. Bach's practice here and elsewhere is to use the key signatures of adjacent music, and Handel does this too, for example in Messiah but also in the early Aci, Galatea e Polifemo as well as Acis and Galathea, at least if Chrysander's editions can be trusted. Sparafucil (talk) 09:56, 25 November 2012 (UTC)


Libretto title

To my knowledge,there's no original title "Weihnachtsoratorium",- any source for that? The first page of the libretto has this, Oratorium / Welches / Die heilige Weihnacht / über / In beyden / Haupt-Kirchen zu Leipzig / musiciert wurde. / Anno 1734" (Oratorio which has been performed over the holy Christmas tide in both main churches at Leipzig). That can be summarised to "Weihnachts-Oratorium", but we should not suggest that it was Bach's title.

A melody used three times is Vom Himmel hoch, - please see the talk of that article for arguments against a lead image with a too Italian feel (which I don't share any more - I remember I did when Botticelli was introduced here - however, it came up). The libretto title should perhaps go somewhere in this article, perhaps even as lead. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:18, 23 December 2014 (UTC)