Moments of joy with Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
Bach’s Christmas Oratorio consists of six cantatas, each written for a feast day of the Christmas season. Almost all of the oratorio’s music came from other works by Bach, mostly secular pieces. The Handel and Haydn Society capped off its year with a performance of the first, second, and sixth cantatas. While particular moments were joyous and powerful, the performance as a whole seemed oddly tentative and never really caught fire.