James MacMillan -c- Hans van der Woerd

MacMillan's Christmas Oratorio


  • James MacMillan Christmas oratorio

After Bach's renowned Weihnachts-Oratorium, can you still write a Christmas oratorio? The Scotsman James MacMillan dares to do so.

MacMillan and Bach

MacMillan really needs no introduction. The Scotsman, Catholic and composer was a regular guest conductor of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic for several years and frequently conducted his own works during the Saturday Matinee. Yet the premiere of his Christmas Oratorio deserves extra attention. After all, it is not often that a composer dares to measure up to Bach, whose shadow of death one does not easily escape from. MacMillan, sometimes called 'the contemporary Bach' mainly because of his many vocal compositions, does it - partly at the request of the Matinee - without batting an eyelid.

Gift' for choir and orchestra

In the fourteen-part Christmas Oratorio, he blends the influence of Bach's sinfonias, chorales and arias with old English Christmas poetry by John Donne and John Milton, among others, contemporary sonorities and Scottish folk music. A fine mid-season highlight and a dreamed-of gift from the Matinee for Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Great Broadcasting Choir.

Saturday, January 16, 2021
2:15 pm
Yes, including break
The Royal Concertgebouw

Large Hall


Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Go to the website
James MacMillan
Netherlands Radio Choir
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Mary Bevan
Christopher Maltman
Benjamin Goodson - Photo: Paolo Ferla
Benjamin Goodson
Choir conductor
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