Maria Keohane Soprano
Michaela Selinger Soprano
Robin Blaze Alto
James Oxley Tenor
Stephan MacLeod Bass
La Chapelle Harmonique
Valentin Tournet Musical conductor
For the vespers of his first Christmas in Leipzig on December 25th 1723, Bach chose to give the cantata Christen, ätzet diesen Tag (BWV 63) and the Magnificat at the Nikolaikirche. This first version of the Magnificat in E flat major, is played with four lauds recounting part of the story of Christmas, interspersed within the movements of the Magnificat.
There are also variations in the instrumentation: recorders, and not the traverso flutes of the later version, have a more pastoral tone to accompany the “Esurientes”; the trumpet, and not the oboe, intone the tonus peregrinus of “Suscepit Israel”. It is easy to see why Bach chose cantata BWV 63 to go with his Magnificat: an inspired composition which begins and ends with impressive chorales was exactly the right work for the occasion. It brought together the greatest number of musicians since Bach’s arrival in the position in Leipzig six months before: four trumpets, timbals and three oboes, in addition to the chorale in four parts and strings.
This cantata is preceded by cantata BWV 62 for the first Sunday in Advent. The pieces presented here immerse us in the unique atmosphere which reigned in Luther’s country at Christmas time, a sweet mixture of joy, hope and admiration before the miracle of Incarnation.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1759)
Cantate Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland
Cantate Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben
Magnificat in E flat major for Christmas Day
Royal ChapelMore info
PRESTIGE CATEGORY: Excellent seats with complimentary glass of champagne and programme.
PRESTIGE VIP CATEGORY: Best seats in house with complimentary glass of champagne and programme.
REDUCED RATE applicable to under 26s, Chateau de Versailles Spectacles card holders and groups of more than 10 people (excluding special company offer).
Holders of the 2 day Chateau de Versailles passport: reduced rate applicable to reservation by telephone only at +33 (0)1 30 83 78 89 or directly on site on the day of the event (subject to availability).
→ Detailed conditions on the Chateau de Versailles website
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