The Christmas Oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach belongs to Christmas like the Semper Opera House to Dresden. The individual parts were first performed by the Thomas Boys Choir in Leipzig during the six worship services between Christmas Day 1734 and the Epiphany 1735 in the St. Nicholas’ Church and the St. Thomas Church.
Also during this Advent season the familiar tunes and songs are heard in many different places in Dresden. Whether sung by the famous Dresden Cross Choir or an amateur choir, the right Christmas mood always rises listening to these sounds.
Since 1723 Bach worked as the cantor of the Thomas Choir in Leipzig. In 1730 he tried, however, for being awarded the title of court composer in Dresden, because he was dissatisfied with the payment, the high cost of living and the Leipzig authorities, who did not promote Bach’s creative work in his sense. After the submission of certain works to the electoral court in Dresden, Bach received on 19 November 1736 the awaited news to be able to call himself “Royal Polish and Electoral Saxon Compositeur of the Court Music Ensemble”. The title was associated with neither privileges nor with income, however, it strengthened his position in relation to the Leipzig authorities. Bach also did not get the expected call, to live and act henceforth in the residence Dresden.
That would certainly be handled differently by the city of Dresden today, because today the work of Johann Sebastian Bach is played and honoured not only during the Christmas season but throughout the year.
And where do music and architecture of the Baroque harmonize better than in Dresden?