The most beautiful Christmas cantatas

Christmas with Bach

Christmas with Bach Christmas with Bach

The background

Christmas with Bach

This season, the Netherlands Bach Society is treating its December audiences to cantatas composed by Bach in honour of the Virgin Mary and Christmas.

Bach boosts the Christmas spirit by using a wealth of instruments.“

Dedicated to the Virgin Mary are Meine Seel erhebt den Herren and Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben. The closing chorale of the latter cantata is the extremely popular Wohl mir, dass ich Jesum habe. The programme also includes the very first cantata Bach wrote for Christmas Day: Christen, ätzet diesen Tag. This is an early work from Bach’s Weimar years, in which Bach boosts the Christmas spirit by using a wealth of instruments: four trumpets, timpani, three oboes, strings and basso continuo. No wonder that he performed this lively music again ten years later, on the occasion of his first Christmas as cantor at the Thomasschule, in Leipzig.

This performance is entrusted to the capable hands of the man who conducted the St Matthew Passion for us in 2003: Marcus Creed. Following his training at the famous King’s College in London, Creed became a sought-after choir conductor in Germany and Denmark. He has received high acclaim from the press for his recordings of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, motets and Mass in B minor.

The concert

Works and Performance


Meine Seel erhebt den Herren, BWV 10
Christen, ätzet diesen Tag, BWV 63
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147

Concerto in E major, 'il Riposo per il Natale', RV 270


Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Marcus Creed

Griet De Geyter, soprano

Alex Potter, alto

Guy Cutting, tenor

Matthias Winckhler, bass

Experience more

View this work on All of Bach

Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kömmt

cantatas, BWV 151

Gloria in excelsis Deo

Latin church music, BWV 191