conducted by Shunske Sato

Christmas Oratorio

Christmas Oratorio Christmas Oratorio

The background

Christmas Oratorio

Royal music becomes a festive soundtrack for Christmas. Come and hear Shunske Sato’s debut conducting one of the great works by Bach.

Royal music as a festive soundtrack.“

With rejoicing angels, excited shepherds and a generous dash of maternal love, Bach joined in the Christmas tradition, making a musical staging of Jesus’s arrival on earth. Each cantata performed on its own day, running to and fro between the churches of St Thomas and St Nicholas for the morning and afternoon services, with a repeat performance during vespers. For the music, Bach borrowed hit numbers from his own works, including an ode to Queen Maria Josepha, the Electress of Saxony. The first three cantatas represent the saviour’s birth and the annunciation to the shepherds, followed by the story of Herod who sends the three Magi on their way with a trick. Bach’s festive notes are performed in between two less frequently heard gems: Dietrich Buxtehude’s tender chorale motet In dulci jubilo and the first movement of a sumptuous cantata by Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel.

Due to the 1.5 meter measure, the room capacity is a lot lower than normal. That's why our concerts are shortened (to about an hour) and performed twice a day instead of once. This way, as many enthusiasts as possible can attend the concerts. Ticket buyers have already been informed about this.

The concert

Works and Performance


Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 (cantatas 1, 2, 3 and 6)*

Ach daß die Hülfe aus Zion über Israel käme

In dulci jubilo, BuxWV 52

*Due to the corona virus our concerts have been shortened. That is why only two of the above cantatas will be performed from the Weihnachts Oratorio. The program differs per concert.


Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Shunske Sato

Viola Blache, soprano
Ulrike Malotta, alto
Daniel Johannsen, tenor
Matthias Helm, bass

Experience more

View this work on All of Bach

Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen

cantatas, BWV 51

Christen, ätzet diesen Tag

cantatas, BWV 63