Apollo Ensemble The Christmas story according to Schütz and Distler
In 1664, the eighty-year-old Schütz wrote his Historia der freuden- und gnadenreichen Geburth Gottes und Marien Sohnes Jesu Christ. It is a lively account of the Christmas story, in which the instrumental choir also plays an important role.
The evangelist tells the Christmas story with great expressiveness and subtlety. For example, you hear Herod’s ‘excessive anger’ when he finds out that the Three Wise Men have tricked him. The choirs are very impressive too: the choir of angels glorifying God, accompanied by violins; the shepherds rushing to the stable with recorder and dulcian; high priests with trombones and and Herod’s cynical instructions to the Three Wise Men.
‘Die Weihnachtsgeschichte’ op. 10 (1933) by Distler, is an a cappella Christmas oratorio for a four- to eight-part mixed choir that is strongly reminiscent of Heinrich Schütz’s ‘Historia der Geburt Jesu Christi’; built around the Christmas story told by a narrator, with the choir interpreting the angels, the shepherds, the wise men and the high priests. Distler adds a kind of ‘common thread’ with seven cleverly elaborated chorale variations on the old moving Christmas carol ‘Es ist ein Ros entsprungen’. These provide the poetic, contemplative moments of rest during the story. One variation is combined with the hymn of Mary (part of the Magnificat). The entire piece is strongly framed by a strong and contrasting opening and closing chorus.
Elvire Beekhuizen & Agnes van Laar soprano
Franske van der Wiel & Rosina Fabius, alto
Falco van Loon & Francis Ng, tenor
Robbert Muuse & Bram Trouwborst, bass
David Rabinovich & Daphne Oltheten, violin
Jesse Solway, violone
Thomas Oltheten, dulcian
Robert de Bree & Elisabeth Opsahl, recorder
Matthijs van der Moolen en Tim Dowling, trombone
Elisabeth Opsahl & Nicholas Emerson, cornetto
Marion Boshuizen, organ
Dates and Times
Sunday 26 December
15:00 - 17:00
€ 25,50 - € 27,50