Bach’s Easter Oratorio, like the Ascension Oratorio, is – unjustly – somewhat overshadowed by the Christmas Oratorio. Like the latter, the other two oratorios derive from occasional compositions by Bach, which Bach thereby made generally usable. Bach apparently held the Easter Oratorio in particularly high esteem and performed it again several times, as evidenced by minor changes to the composition. The representative Ascension Oratorio “Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen” (“Praise God in His Realms”), with its festive structure and instrumentation, reflects the triumphant joy of Christ’s Ascension especially in the opening and closing choruses. With the present recording of the highest calibre by the Kammerchor Stuttgart, the Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra, and outstanding soloists under the direction of Frieder Bernius, it is clear that both works are truly masterful compositions that need not take a back seat musically to the Christmas Oratorio.
Originally composed for the Christmas season of 1734/35, the Christmas Oratorio has become as much a part of Christmas as Christstollen and Spekulatius (German Christmas patries). Also in this work, the parody templates can be discerned throughout. For example, the famous timpani strokes at the beginning of the chorus “Jauchzet, frohlocket” derive from the cantata “Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten” BWV 214. Under the artistic direction of Hans-Christoph Rademann, the choir and ensemble of the Gaechinger Cantorey accompanied by an outstanding quintet of soloists perform Bach’s most famous oratorio. As a bonus track, the original version of the 1st chorus can also be heard, performed by the same ensemble