"Conductor Jan Willem de Vriend proves himself a fine storyteller, and his band is excellent: tempos are always well chosen, string attacks are crisp and clean, the recorders make a sweet, sad sound, trumpets blaze brilliantly, and embellishments are carefully chosen and tasteful." - Robert Levin, CLASSICSTODAY [CHR 72159]
"One of the best recordings ever to have been made of this work." - De Telegraaf
"The Combattimento Consort Amsterdam performs all this music to the hilt...just about as entertaining and downright amazing as one could wish." - All Music Guide [CHR 72132]
An outstanding recording of the well-known Christmas Oratorio of J.S. Bach in special book packaging. Includes beautiful photos of the Mother and Child motif across the globe, with phtography by Eddy Posthuma de Boer. Features an interview with the conductor Jan Willem de Vriend and an article on the liturgical significance of the six cantatas by internationally renowned musiciologist Robin A. Leaver, as well as a short history of how the work came into being.
Bach's celebrated Christmas Oratorio forges a link between birth and deliverance: the birth of Christ is seen not only as the birth of light and innocence, but is also characterized by suffering. Guilt, innocence, suffering, and deliverance are present from the moment a mother holds her child in her arms. Performed by the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, one of Europe's best Early Music ensembles, under the direction of Jan Willem de Vriend, who has led it since its founding in 1982. The ensemble specializes in music composed between 1600 and 1800.