Merry Christmas to my Christian readers, Facebook friends, and tweeple!
In honor of the holiday, herewith Bach’s Weinachtsoratorium BWV248 (Christmas oratorio). The full text and translation can be found here.
Bach was a devout Lutheran all his life: at great expense, he procured a collection of theological works that, in his day, would have been the pride of many a church. (I got to see a portion of it with my own eyes, during a visit to his birth house in Eisenach, presently a museum.)
You don’t have to sit through the whole thing :), as rewarding as that experience will be: just the opening “Rejoice!” will put you in the mood for holiday mirth.
Here is a somewhat “historically authentic” performance conducted by John Eliot Gardiner :
Those of us with absolute pitch may prefer this performance by the King’s College Choir and the Academy of St. Martin In The Fields, on modern instruments tuned to A=440 rather than Baroque chamber pitch.
PS: today is also Isaac Newton Day (born December 25, 1642 O.S.). For non-Christians, as well as for those Christians of the Eastern Communion who observe the holiday according to the Julian calendar, this can be an alternative observance 🙂