A musical treat for Christmas in Battle
The lovely setting of St Mary’s church, across the road from Battle Abbey, is perfect for this music. It was written in 1734 for the ancient churches of St Thomas and St Nicholas in Leipzig, where Bach was Choirmaster of both. St Thomas was built in 1212 and St Nicholas even earlier, in 1165. St Mary’s in Battle is even older still, founded in 1115.
An ancient church is the perfect setting for this grand and glorious music, written to tell the Christmas story – even though the style of music perhaps might have been seen as new-fangled nonsense to those twelfth century churchgoers, had they been alive to listen to it.
Almost three hundred years after the Christmas Oratorio was first heard it has proved timeless and universal, continuing to inspire and delight across the world – including Battle on 16th December!
The Choral Society will be joined by soloists Grace Constable, Helen Walker, Gary Marriott and Tom Harvey, the organist Nigel Howard and instrumental players. It will be conducted by the Musical Director Vincent Wade and is the grand finale of his first year with Battle Choral Society.