J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings


Main Performer
or Conductor:
Karl Munchinger
Accompaniment/Orchestra:Stuttgarter Kammerorchester
Soloists:Weihnachts-Oratorium: Elly Ameling, soprano
Helen Watts, contralto
Peter Pears, tenor
Tom Krause, bass.
Individual Works:Weihnachts-Oratorium ,BWV 248
Magnificat, BWV 243
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Decca
Catalog Number:425 441-2
Year Released/Recorded:1967/1969
Total Playing Time:3 hrs, 10 min
Comments:George Murnu said:

A wonderfully fresh recording of the Christmas Oratorio that I like more and more with repeated listenings. Made in 1967, the recording bought new insights to the work at that time and its charm is still well-preserved. Perhaps Munchinger's most successful recording of a major vocal work by Bach. I particularly like his choice of tempi, not too fast, neither too slow. The soloists are very good as well with Ameling
outstanding, although I have reservations about Pears; I find his voice better suited to Purcell or to Britten's War Requiem than to Bach - my favorite evangelist remains Fritz Wunderlich. The recording has been recently re-issued in Decca / London's 2-for-1 series ( without the Magnificat, of course); at that price is a steal. As for the Magnificat, performed of course in the revised D major version that it is universally prefered today, I'm not that enthusiastic. I find it too heavy for my taste. I prefer Kurt Redel or Helmut Rilling for the Magnificat. However, this is one of my favorite recordings of the Oratorio and I return happily to it Christmas after Christmas.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • George Murnu
Date First Submitted:12/12/1997