For many, there can be no Advent without J. S. Bach´s Christmas Oratorio. The Reykjavik Cathedral Choir, with a chamber orchestra and soloists, will perform this enchanting music at the Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavík on November 24th. Soloists will be Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir (soprano), Hanna Dóra Sturludóttir (alto), Benedikt Kristjánsson (tenor) and Jóhann Kristinsson (bass). Orchestra leader is Una Sveinbjarnardóttir and conductor is Kári Þormar, Reykjavik Cathedral organist and conductor of the Cathedral Choir.
Of the many musical works that celebrate the Nativity, The Christmas Oratorio (completed in 1734) is probably the most famous and magnificent, as well as one of the most important late Baroque compositions. At this concert, the audience will enjoy four of the six cantatas in the Oratorio, that is the I, III, V and VI, performed by a choir, soloists and orchestra numbering in all nearly 100 artists.
The Christmas Oratorio was performed for the first time in Iceland in 1964 and has ever since been performed frequently by various choirs in Iceland around Advent. The Reykjavik Cathedral Choir has performed it several times, most recently in 2008.
The Reykjavík Cathedral choir has given countless performances in Iceland and abroad, to critical acclaim. The repertoire is large and diverse, including Brahms´s Deutsches Requiem, Bach´s Christmas Oratorio, Mozart´s Requiem, Händel´s Messiah, Bach’s Passion of St. John and the Requiems of Duruflé and Fauré. Last June, the choir performed the Duruflé Requiem in Paris. The choir also performs at Mass and ceremonial events at the Reykjavik Cathedral.