Church to sponsor Christmas Oratorio


From Contributed Reports

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Lakeside Chancel Choir along with soloists, strings from the N.C. Symphony, harp and organ will perform Camille Saint Saens Christmas Oratorio at 11 a.m. Sunday at Lakeside Baptist Church.

Camille Saint Saens's Oratorio de Noel, also known as Christmas Oratorio, is a pastoral work, devotional and contemplative, that evokes a world of innocence in telling of Christ's birth. The text taken from both Old and New Testament passages focuses on a human response to Christ's coming more than the drama of the story itself.

Whether it's the alto aria filled with patience and assurance, the tenor aria tenderly affirming his belief in his heart or the praise and adoration of the soprano and bass duet thanking God for the surprising light and good news, all are expressing an intimate reaction to the coming of Christ.

The center of the work, accompanied by furious unison passage of strings, is angrily questioning "Why do the nations imagine vain things?" which is eventually answered with a calm, assuring Gloria Patri. The harp adds shimmer and shine to Saint Saens beautiful flowing melodies reflecting the ethereal "splendor of his holiness". The next 2 movements are full of alleluias as the text urges all to praise God even at night, even through fear and doubt.

The Oratorio concludes with a majestic hymn of praise “Bring an offering and come into this courts. Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad, before the Lord, for he cometh. Hallelujah!”

The performance is free and open to the public.