Move Over Handel

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, January 24, 2008

(B Minor Mass)

Most of Bach’s big choral works are sober and serious.

(B Minor Mass)

Like the opening of the Mass in B Minor, recorded by the American Bach Soloists.  There is, however, a Bach masterwork that’s really upbeat, with music set to snappy tempos in a major key.

(music from opening of Christmas Oratorio)

The piece is the “Christmas Oratorio.”  It’s rarely performed in California because, well, because Handel’s “Messiah” owns the month of December nowadays. But conductor Jeffrey Thomas of the Bach Soloists has wanted for years to give this Bach oratorio some exposure, mostly because it’s so happy. 

Thomas: “The strings and the flutes are just playing whirlwind scales… at the speed of light, the trumpets are sounding out… I don’t think you can find more jubilant music in a shorter time frame than anywhere than in this piece."

But isn’t January a tad tardy? 

Thomas: “In fact half the music of the Christmas Oratorio is really music for New Year’s, and the second half is all about New Years celebrations.”

Think of it as the sunny side of Sebatian Bach, something you may not have experienced until now. Jeff Hudson, KXJZ News.

(Music out)

The American Bach Soloists performed the "Christmas Oratorio" on Monday, January 28th at the Mondavi Center in Davis