Handel and Haydn Society Presents Bach Christmas

December 3 – 5, 2021

Press performance is Friday, December 3 at 7:30 PM

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[Boston – November 5, 2021] The Handel and Haydn Society celebrates the majesty of the holiday season with Bach Christmas, December 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Raphaël Pichon, acclaimed director of the Paris-based ensemble Pygmalion, will make his H+H debut as he leads the Orchestra and Chorus in Gabrieli’s “Hodie Christus natus est,” J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, BWV 243, and Cantata, BWV 110, Unser Mund sei voll Lachens, and CPE Bach’s Heilig, Wq. 217. The December 3rd 7:30 PM performance of Bach Christmas at St. Cecilia Parish in Boston and the December 5th 4:00 PM performance at First Church in Cambridge, MA have sold out; a third performance has been added Saturday, December 4th 7:30 PM at First Church in Cambridge.

The centerpiece of the performance will be J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, BWV 243. One of Bach’s most popular choral works, the harmonies capture the anticipation, rejoicing, and exultation of the holiday season.

The celebration also will include Gabrieli’s masterpiece “Hodie Christus natus est.” Written for two choruses, Gabrieli’s early Italian motet conveys a sense of wonder and radiance. H+H will give its premiere of J.S. Bach’s Cantata, BWV 110, Unser Mund sei voll Lachens. An embodiment of joyous spirit, the Cantata will transport audiences to a beautiful Christmas morning full of laughter. H+H will also perform CPE Bach’s renowned choral masterpiece Heilig, Wq. 217.

“Bach Christmas is the perfect way to connect with the joyous spirit of the holiday season,” said David Snead, President and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society. “These sparkling Baroque gems will shine when performed by the H+H Orchestra and Chorus, with all the brightness of when they first were penned.”

French conductor and countertenor Raphaël Pichon founded Pygmalion, a choir and orchestra that quickly distinguished itself in France and abroad at the youthful age of 22. Alongside his ensemble, Pichon has performed at the Philharmonie de Paris, the Château de Versailles, the BBC Proms, the Bozar in Brussels, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Philharmonie in Cologne, the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, the French May in Hong Kong, and the Beijing Music Festival. On the opera stage, Pichon has conducted various productions at the Opéra Comique, the Aix-en-Provence Opera Festival, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Amsterdam Opera, and the Bordeaux National Opera. He has collaborated with directors such as Katie Mitchell, Romeo Castellucci, Simon McBurney, Michel Fau, Pierre Audi, Aurélien Bory, and Jetske Mijnssen.

H+H is dedicated to following historically informed performance traditions of Baroque and Classical music, creating a sound every bit as fresh and contemporary as when the music was first written. Performing on period instruments, the H+H orchestra brings an exhilarating sound to the original compositions.

Tickets for individual performances may be purchased by calling 617.266.3605, or visiting handelandhaydn.org. Student and group discounts are also available.

H+H’s 2021-22 Season Performances include:

Beethoven Symphony No. 6, Pastoral – November 5 + 7 atSymphony Hall
Handel Messiah – November 26-28 at Symphony Hall
Bach Christmas – December 4 at First Church in Cambridge (December 3 + 5: Sold out)
Beethoven Symphony No. 7 – January 7 + 9 at Symphony Hall
Haydn + Mozart – January 28 + 30 at Symphony Hall
Bach + Vivaldi Gloria – April 1 + 3 at Symphony Hall
Haydn The Creation – April 29 + May 1 at Symphony Hall

About the Handel and Haydn Society

Boston’s Grammy-winning Handel and Haydn Society is dedicated to performing Baroque and Classical music with a freshness, a vitality, and a creativity that inspires all ages. H+H has been captivating audiences for 207 consecutive seasons (the most of any performing arts organization in the United States) speaking to its singular success at converting new audiences to this extraordinary music, generation after generation. Today, H+H’s Orchestra and Chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners annually with a nine-week subscription series at Boston Symphony Hall and other leading venues. Through the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, H+H supports seven youth choirs of singers in grades 2-12 and provides thousands of complimentary tickets to students and communities throughout Boston, ensuring the joy of music is accessible to all. H+H’s numerous free community concerts include an annual commemoration of the original 1863 Emancipation Proclamation concert on December 31. The artistic director of the Handel and Haydn Society is Harry Christophers. Under Christophers’s leadership, H+H has released 15 CDs on the Coro label and has toured nationally and internationally. In all these ways, H+H fulfills its mission to inspire the intellect, touch the heart, elevate the soul, and connect us with our shared humanity through transformative experiences with Baroque and Classical music.