On December 16 at 8 p.m. in Emmanuel Church, the chorus and orchestra ofEmmanuel Music, under the direction of Ryan Turner, will present Bach’s rarely heard complete“Christmas Oratorio,” featuring all six cantatas. Bach’s magnificent work traces the events of the Christmas season, from the birth of Jesus to the arrival and worship of the Magi, each celebrated with a distinctive cantata featuring its own vivid sound world — pastoral double reeds, introspective strings, noble horns, celebratory trumpets and mighty timpani. The evening begins with the pre-concert talk “How Shall I Receive You?” by Bach scholar Daniel R. Melamed. For tickets and more information, visitEmmanuelMusic.org.
In 18th century Germany, the town of Leipzig celebrated the birth of Jesus and the events surrounding it not with a single feast day, but with a “season” of six special commemorations occurring between Christmas Day and the Feast of the Epiphany: the birth of Jesus (December 25), the announcement to the shepherds by a host of angels (December 26), the adoration of the baby by the shepherds (December 27), the circumcision and naming of Jesus (New Year’s Day), the coming of the Magi from the East to find the child “born King of the Jews” (the Sunday after New Year’s Day), and finally the Magi’s worship with their gifts (January 6). On each of these days, Bach’s congregation was inspired by a cantata that recounted one of these stories, reflecting upon the events and their meanings for the Christian individual and community.
Emmanuel Music is acclaimed around the globe for its nearly 50-year commitment to Bach’s work, and is one of the only ensembles in the country to perform the complete cycle of all Bach’s 200-plus surviving sacred cantatas. Performing the complete six-cantata “Christmas Oratorio” provides Emmanuel Music the perfect program to showcase its deep roster of talented soloists and choral and orchestra musicians.
Featured soloists include: Jonas Budris, tenor — Evangelist; Aria soloists — soprano — Kendra Colton, Carley DeFranco, Kristen Watson and Sarah Yanovitch; alto — Carrie Cheron, Pamela Dellal, Margaret Lias and Krista River; tenor —Charles Blandy, Frank Kelly, Jason McStoots andEric Christopher Perry; bass — Paul Guttry, Will Prapestis, David Tinervia and Dana Whiteside.
Tickets: General $30; 2nd Tier $60; 1st Tier $95; Patron $150; Students $10