There is hardly a more perfect musical formula for the beginning of the Christmas season than the festively recited opening motif of Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio. But in his six cantatas, assigned to the individual holidays, the great Thomaskantor goes far beyond pure jubilation. Rainer Johannes Homburg and his Stuttgart Hymnus-Chorknaben have now given a new version of the "musical message" about the birth of Christ, supported by competent soloists and Handel's Company, whose baroque opulence is particularly well expressed in the three-dimensional sound of this Super Audio CD.
Timpani and trumpets mark the royal prelude. The multi-award-winning trumpet ensemble Wolfgang Bauer provides a magnificent sound before the extremely agile evangelist Andreas Post takes us into the events of the Holy Night. The fact that the birth of the Saviour is not only important for crowned heads, but also for ordinary people is expressed in a particularly touching way by Bach's enchanting Pastoral Symphony in the second cantata.
And then there's the matter of death and resurrection. That this is already laid out in the manger is shown by Bach with a trick that gives every sensitive listener goose bumps: Paul Gerhard's Advent chorale "Wie soll ich dich empfangen", actually to sing to a melody by Johann Crüger, sounds in Hans Leo Hassler's manner of "O Haupt, voll Blut und Wunden", which is also used in the St. Matthew Passion...
In the Christmas Oratorio, Bach explored the Protestant equivalence of sermon and church music to a rarely reached depth, each cantata reaches its own proclamation and has its own individual instrumentation. In the Stuttgart Hymnus Choir Boys' Choir, this confession of deeply penetrated piety is in the best throats. Historically informed and accompanied by instruments from the time of its origin, the masterly boys' choir develops a Christmas-intimate mood that one cannot escape.