Cathedral concert - Free entrance

Childhood

Oct. 9, 2019
8 p.m.
Cologne Cathedral

Hector Berlioz

»L'enfance du Christ« Sacred trilogy for soloists, choir, orchestra and organ (1850/54)

Shepherds greeting the cradle of the newborn Jesus constitutes for many the epitome of “the childhood of Christ”. For Hector Berlioz too, this scene became the point of departure for a sacred trilogy that offers numerous new perspectives on events centring around the birth and growing up of Jesus, in addition to well-known key moments. Berlioz began his un-Christmassy Christmas Oratorio as a game: under a 17th-century composer’s name, he composed a pastoral scene in a historicising garment of sound—and ultimately expanded it to include two outer movements, long after word had got around who was behind the pseudonym. In this piece too, Berlioz creates a unique form that combines oratorical narration, operatic drama and a symphonic poem. In Berlioz’s adaptation of the biblical story, highly topical moments come to the fore: the childhood of Christ is a story of persecution and exodus, but also of humanity and solidarity—where you would least expect them. Berlioz never spoke to his audience in more naive beauty. Heaven has never been so close. Francois-Xavier Roth will make music at the Shrine of the Three Kings.

A cooperation between Kölner Dommusik and Gürzenich-Orchester Köln

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