Q: Choral Arts performed this work exactly two years ago. Why are you bringing it back?
MG: There were differing factors that came together to make this decision: When I was searching for a season of Cantatas to perform as a fuller cycle, I discovered that the Christmas Oratorio fell right in between 1734 -1735. This lead me to investigate the Cantatas we believe Bach revived and composed during that season. In addition, a generous supporter was so taken with our performance in 2014 that he came forward and offered a challenge grant.
The Christmas Oratorio ranks along with the two great Passions, St John and St Matthew, in drama, inventiveness and beauty, but it’s rarely heard complete, at least in the United States. Although it would be a challenge trying to perform it every year, I like the idea that it could become a regular piece of repertoire for Choral Arts.
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Choral Arts Philadelphia receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.