Henrik Colding-Jørgensen: BACH'S CHRISTMAS (2007)
- A CHORALE CHAIN
dedicated to Nuuk Nordic Choir and Bente Colding-Jørgensen.
In 2007 the choir decided to plan a performance the following year of Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Part I, II and III. However, they want to sing the eight chorale movements included in these first three part of Bach's Christmas Oratorio already in November 2007. To link these chorales together, I was asked to compose pre-, post- and interludes for solo oboe, as the chorales are not meant to succeed each other immediately. In this way the concept of "Bach's Christmas" took shape, and I undertook the commission gladly, having employed the oboe in other choral works.
THE CHAIN is in fact the solo oboe, beginning and ending the composition. THE LINKS are of course the eight chorales, interspersed by nine short moments for oboe solo. The orchestration of the chorale movements is reduced to organ alone, in two of the chorales, where Johann Sebastian Bach employed an obbligato instrument, accomanied by oboe obbligato. In addition to this I re-composed three of the chorales, giving these chorales a new stylistic content for solo oboe and mixed choir, with the organ supporting the choral parts.
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
AT THE AGE, WHEN HE WROTE THE CHRISTMAS ORATORIO
The oboe interludes take their characters and titles from the succeding chorale stanzas, in this way bringing us through the stages of Christmas celebration, from the first anticipations through the adoration of the newborn Child to his lifelong dedication: Bach's Christmas.
The first performance took place Saturday, November 24, 2007, at Hans Egede Church, Nuuk, Greenland, by Nuuk Nordic Choir, Joakim Dam Thomsen, oboe, and Henrik Colding-Jørgensen, organ. Conductor: Bente Colding-Jørgensen.
HANS EGEDE CHURCH, NUUK
The project was supported financially by Nordic Culture Point