Two masterpieces by Johann Sebastian Bach are among the highlights of this year’s musik+: The Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 and the St. Matthew Passion BWV 244. It is hard to believe that seven years lie between these two works, which Bach composed for Leipzig’s main churches. To set the mood for Christmas, the programme comprises Cantatas I-III of the total of six. In the tradition of the time, they were performed on six different days – beginning with Christmas Day and ending with Epiphany. They tell the Christmas story from the birth of Christ to the arrival of the three wise men. It may seem surprising today that Bach reworked and incorporated secular compositions that had already been performed, but in fact the practice of recycling earlier works – known as musical parody – was very popular due to the large numbers of compositions that had to be produced. Among other things, Bach incorporated the cantata Tönet, ihr Pauken! BWV 214 (dedicated to the Electress of Saxony) into the opening chorus of the 1st Cantata.

We are delighted that Michi Gaigg – one of the most important players in the world of early music – and her L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra are finally joining us once again at musik+ after a break of over ten years.

Shira Patchornik – soprano
Margot Oitzinger – alto
James Gilchrist – tenor
Alexander Grassauer – bass
L’Orfeo Barockorchester
Conductor: Michi Gaigg

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