Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, composed in 1734, narrates the story of the birth of Jesus in a cycle of six cantatas with a text probably by Christian Friedrich Henrici (known as Picander) who provided several libretti for Bach during his Leipzig period.
Like the St. Matthew and St. John Passions, the Christmas Oratorio is narrated by an Evangelist and includes devices from Italian opera such as the recitative and aria. It was written to be performed during the thirteen days of Christmas of the Lutheran Church calendar (25 December – 6 January) allowing the wondrous story of the Gospel to gradually unfold.
- Full score and performance material (BA5014), vocal score (BA5014-90) and study score (TP85) available for sale.
- Urtext of the New Bach Edition.