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All programs are free, but we ask that you please call the Library at 860-542-5075 or register online to reserve a seat.

Jauchzet! The Culture and History of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio

A six-session exploration with Mark Scarbrough
Thursday mornings, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
January 9 through February 13

Is there music more glorious than the piece we now call Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio”? But there’s more to the story than the music! Join us for a deep dive into the culture, history, and art surrounding this masterwork. Each of the six sessions will be devoted to one of the six cantatas that make up the oratorio. We’ll pay careful attention to the defeat of Sweden, the growth of Prussian power, the rise of Russia, and the consequent alliances in central and western Europe, as well as the position of Bach in the larger transition to modernism in Western culture. Each session will offer two video performances of each cantata. Although you needn’t, you can follow the performances by purchasing the Bärenreiter Urtext edition of the Weihnachs-Oratorium score (BA 5014-90), available through amazon.com.