Choral music for Easter, Part V — Bach, Easter Oratorio

“Come, hurry and run, you nimble feet; reach the cavern that sheltered Jesus! Laughing and jesting attend our hearts, for our Salvation is raised.”

The first chorus in Bach’s Easter Oratorio (BWV 249) captures the joy unleashed by the Resurrection. As Bach tells the story of the discovery the empty tomb, Easter joy is revealed to be complex. It is more than excitement; it comprises comfort, consolation, hope, love, praise, and thanksgiving.

Below — at the bottom of this post — is a complete performance of Bach’s Easter Oratorio by the Netherlands Bach Society. But the first embedded video is a helpful 6-minute introduction to the work, featuring comments by conductor Jos van Veldhoven and tenor Thomas Hobbs. It is well worth the time, even if you’ve heard the work many times before. Unless your German is very good, it helps to have a translation for the text for the work as you listen, which is available on this page, and prints nicely onto two sheets of paper.

Jos van Veldhoven & tenor Thomas Hobbs introduce Bach’s Easter Oratorio

Performers: Netherlands Bach Society; Maria Keohane, soprano; Damien Guillon, alto; Thomas Hobbs, tenor; Sebastian Myrus, bass; Jos van Veldhoven, conductor