Christmas culture – J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio

The Telegraph (UK) has provided a list of the ten best pieces of classical music together with a link to a performance of each piece. Below is a performance of Bach’s beautiful Christmas Oratorio.

Some people have the idea Bach was always on his knees when he wrote church music. Not true. Here he stands up and shouts for joy. His Christmas Oratorio, composed in 1734, tells the entire Christmas story from the Birth right through the arrival and adoration of the Magi. This opening movement sets the mood. It’s in the celebratory key of D major, with lots of ‘royal’ trumpets for the Christ child, and the trilling oboes give a foretaste of the pastoral mood that comes later.