Bach Choir of Bethlehem to Present Bach’s ‘Christmas Oratorio’

By David Salazar

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem has announced its Annual Christmas Concerts which will feature Parts four, five, and six of Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio.” Performances are set for Dec. 10 and 11, 2022.

Soloists in the performance include soprano Nola Richardson, mezzo-soprano Janna Critz, tenor Lawrence Jones, and baritone David Newman. Dr. Christopher Jackson conducts the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, and the Bach Festival Orchestra.

“Parts four, five, and six feature some of the most well-known and loved choruses – all three cantatas have absolutely glorious opening choral movements, highlighted by brilliant writing for horns, oboes, and trumpets,” said Jackson in an official press statement. “Part four centers around the naming of Jesus and, indeed, the libretto for this cantata mentions Jesus’s name over 20 times. This cantata is a humble meditation on all Jesus’s name can mean and, above all, mercy.  Parts five and six pertain to the three Magi, their journey and eventual adoration of Jesus, including a favorite part of the tale – King Herod and his deceitful attempts to convince the wise men to reveal Jesus’s location. The way that Bach uses large choral movements, humble and intimate chorale settings, solo arias, and recitative, to evoke something in us is truly astounding. We cannot wait to perform them for you and to help communicate the depth of meaning we know Bach instilled there within them.”

Also performing in the concert will be the Bel Canto Concert Choir, which will present its own newly-composed variation on Bach’s “Ich steh’ an deiner Krippen hier.”

The Dec. 10 performance will take place at the First Presbyterian Church in Allentown while the the latter showcase will take place at the First Presbyterian Church in Bethlehem. This latter performance will live streamed.