Owing to its Latin text, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio has found admirers all over the world. Saint-Saëns avoids theatrical effects in his church music and relies almost entirely on homophonic choral writing. Here the operatic allusions so popular in his day have given way to a mixture of romantic élan and reminiscences of the Baroque. The subtitle reads “ dans le style de J. S. Bach” although the composer was unaware of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.
In this unusual form the oratorio, of which the final movement is already a hit with many choruses, is well-suited for performance during the Advent and Christmas seasons, providing a welcome change from Bach.
- A “discovery” for Christmas and Advent concerts
- Relatively simple choral writing
- Sensitive organ arrangement