BACH, J.S.: Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248
Listen to an excerpt from Part I – For the First Day of Christmas:
Jauchzet, frohlocket
J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio was written for the Christmas season of 1734, and although it incorporates music from earlier works it belongs firmly among his timeless large-scale compositions. The development of the oratorio, which was to become a new musical form in Protestant church services at that time, was stimulated by Bach’s compositions, particularly by the unusual form of his six-part Christmas Oratorio. From its famously joyful opening ‘Jauchzet frohlocket’ to the arrival of the Wise Men from the East, this work’s enduring popularity has long proven its status as a choral ‘evergreen’.
Ralf Otto
Ralf Otto| Bachchor Mainz & Bachorchester Mainz| Georg Poplutz| Julia Kleiter| Katharina Magiera| Thomas E. Bauer
Ralf Otto
© Martina Pipprich
   About Ralf Otto
For the conductor Ralf Otto, flexibility, diversity and transparency of sound have always been essential to his work with choirs and orchestras. He believes that understanding the compositional structure of a piece of music is an indispensable prerequisite to achieve intensely emotional expression. Since the beginning of his career, he has been a strong advocate for the performance of early music according to historically informed performance practices. Otto’s repertoire encompasses Monteverdi, the complete works of Bach, essential works from the Baroque period, the Viennese classics, the Romantic period, Britten, Eisler, Dallapiccola, Schoenberg and contemporary composers. His numerous recordings and broadcasts are a testament to his artistic achievements.
Bachchor Mainz & Bachorchester Mainz
© Bernd Eisel
   About the Bachchor Mainz
The Mainz Bach Choir has acquired an excellent reputation far beyond Germany, not least because of its varied choral music repertoire that ranges from the 16th century to the present. Diethard Hellmann, who was the founder and choirmaster for 30 years, was succeeded in 1986 by Ralf Otto, who has continued to broaden the ensemble’s range of repertoire, specifically focusing on rarely performed works and contemporary music. He also established an intensive exploration of historical performance practices.
   About the Bachorchester Mainz
The Mainz Bach Orchestra is made up of highly qualified professional musicians from all over Europe. It is the concert partner of the Mainz Bach Choir and also performs in the Bach cantata series of the Mainz University church services. The orchestra specialises in historical performances, playing works of the Renaissance, the Baroque or the Classical period on original instruments, but also performs works of the Romantic period or contemporary music on modern instruments. The orchestra’s lively performances and a profound sense of style characterise this dynamic ensemble – one that is remarkably successful at realising the specific artistic ideas of its chief conductor, Ralf Otto.
Georg Poplutz
© J Kratschmer
   About Georg Poplutz
Georg Poplutz is a tenor whose interpretations are distinguished by fine nuances and strong expression. He performs at notable festivals, and leading concert halls and cathedrals with Rudolf Lutz, Ralf Otto, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Gotthold Schwarz, and Michael A. Willens, among others. He is also frequently asked to sing with Arno Paduch’s Johann Rosenmüller Ensemble and Cantus Cölln with Konrad Junghänel. Lieder recitals with his accompanist Hilko Dumno and more than 60 recordings complete his
musical activities.
Julia Kleiter
© Theodora Richter
   About Julia Kleiter
Julia Kleiter made her debut with the role of Pamina at the Opéra de Bastille in Paris and has repeated the role in many international productions, working with conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Claudio Abbado, Marc Minkowski and Philippe Jordan. As a concert singer Julia Kleiter has given guest performances at the most important music venues, working with numerous conductors including Ingo Metzmacher, Nicholas McGegan, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta and many others.
Katharina Magiera
© Barbara Aumüller
   About Katharina Magiera
Katharina Magiera’s extensive concert repertoire includes the Passions and many cantatas of J.S. Bach, the requiems of Duruflé, Dvořák, Verdi, Schnittke and Mozart, as well as the oratorios of Handel, Mendelssohn and Honegger, performed under distinguished conductors. In opera, Katharina Magiera has performed at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden, the Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg, and the Oper Frankfurt, where she has been a full time ensemble member since the autumn of 2009.
Thomas E. Bauer
© Marco Borggreve
   About Thomas E. Bauer
As a concert vocalist Thomas E. Bauer is very much in demand, having appeared with renowned national and international orchestras and conductors. Recently, under the baton of Ingo Metzmacher, he appeared at the Salzburg Festival as well as at the Berlin Philharmonie, and sang for the inauguration of Hamburg’s new auditorium, the Elbphilharmonie. He has sung in several world premieres of operas, and was awarded the prestigious Schneider-Schott Music Prize.