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On ClassicsToday: The Well-Trebled Christmas Oratorio

The Well-Trebled Christmas Oratorio

Review by: Jens F. Laurson

Artistic Quality: ?

Sound Quality: ?

If you like trebles in Bach—and specifically in the Christmas Oratorio—why not opt for those that Bach, a few generations back, worked with himself? Certainly, this latest production has much going for it, whether on CD, DVD, or Blu-ray. (I worked with the DVD.) The new Thomaskantor Gotthold Schwarz, visibly enjoying every indefatigable minute, leads his boys and the Leipzig Gewandhaus in a rousing, big-boned, but lively performance. On the conventional end it is solid and safe and booming and performed on modern instruments. On the HIP end, it is full of spiritedness and lively musical enunciation. It’s not unlike Riccardo Chailly’s hybrid or “third-way” Bach, but with fewer interpretive eccentricities and the large Thomaner Boys Choir—replete with treble-solos from a shaggy-haired cherub... [continue reading]

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