Album: Riccardo Chailly, Gewandhausorchester, Dresdner Kammerchor, Bach: Christmas Oratorio (Decca)

Bach's Christmas Oratorio is a complex work in six parts, designed to be performed over the six feast days of the Christmas period.

Having been associated with Leipzig's Gewandhausorchester for only a year less than Bach himself, it's apt that Riccardo Chailly should tackle this massive project, for which he eschews the current trend towards period instrumentation, with no perceptible loss of authenticity. It's marvellously recorded, the solo vocalists sustaining poise and clarity against the full onslaught of choir and orchestra, while the fulsome brass brings a dazzling, burnished lustre to the performance.

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