Arts & Events
A reader wrote in to complain about what he perceptively referred to as “crossed wires” in the Nov. 28 preview of holiday concerts.
Referring to the Philharmonia Baroque’s “A Bach Christmas,” (to be performed this Saturday and Sunday at the First Congregational Church), I crossed the title of “The Christmas Oratorio” with “The St. Matthew Passion” (the passions, as our reader points out, is “ar-guably the other towering Eastertide monument,” rivaling “The Messiah”).
I saw “A Bach Christmas,” and made the slip of title. I hope no-one was misled, and quote our reader again as to the significance of these performances:
“Bach’s full ‘Christmas Oratorio’ is staged so infrequently in this country. I know of only two full Bay Area productions in the past 20 years; whereas the passions, one or both, and the B-Minor Mass are reliable annual staples. The ‘Christmas Oratorio’ contains a wealth of joyful trumpet-and-drum choruses, tuneful arias, and rich orchestral color. Philharmonia Baroque and maestro McGegan deserve our gratitude for offering us the complete six-section masterwork, and deserve SRO audiences ...”