Berliner Oratorien-Chor, Concerto Brandenburg, Thomas Hennig, Michelle Buck, Saskia Klumpp, Vernon Kirk, Dennis Chmelensky
On December 17, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. a Christmas concert will be presented at the Philharmonie Berlin that will focus on three outstanding works: The Christmas Oratorio by Carl Heinrich Graun, the Te Deum in D major by Marc-Antoine Charpentier and "Glory be "God in the Highest" by Johann Sebastian Bach.
The soloists for this concert are Michelle Buck (soprano), Saskia Klump (alto), Vernon Kirk (tenor) and Dennis Chmelensky (bass). They are accompanied by the Berlin Oratorio Choir, the Young Voices MDG (under the direction of Franziska Günther) and the Concerto Brandenburg under the direction of Thomas Hennig.
The 2023 Christmas concert is particularly dedicated to the musical heritage of the Prussian court under Frederick the Great. Carl Heinrich Graun, court music director at the time, composed an impressive Christmas oratorio in the 18th century. This score, known as "Oratorio in Festum Nativitatis Christi", was long thought lost and was only reconstructed in 1998 from a long-forgotten source. Despite its artistic importance, this oratorio is rarely performed today, and the Berlin performance is a significant revival of this masterpiece.
The influence of French composers on the music of the Prussian court was also noticeable, and Marc-Antoine Charpentier's "Te Deum" in D major was a widely played work at the time. Although the main theme of the Prelude is best known today, the "Te Deum" contains many inspiring themes that shaped the style of the Baroque era in Europe.
The third work in the concert, "Glory to God in the Highest" BWV 197a by Johann Sebastian Bach, was recently reconstructed and composed. Bach created this cantata in 1728 for Christmas Day. Parts of this cantata were considered lost for a long time, but the opening chorus was reconstructed in 2022 from various now accessible sources. This work enriches the concert with another facet of the musical splendor of the Baroque.
- Berlin Oratorio Choir
- Concerto Brandenburg
- Thomas Hennig, conductor
- Michelle Buck, soprano
- Saskia Klumpp, alto
- Vernon Kirk, tenor
- Dennis Chmelensky, bass
Carl Heinrich Graun
Oratorio in Festum Nativitatis Christi “Christmas Oratorio”
Marc Antoine Charpentier
Te Deum D major H. 146
Johann Sebastian Bach
“Glory to God in the highest”, cantata BWV 197a