Haec Dies by William Byrd and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio

    A festive, rousing motet for this Christmas Day – or twelve days – by William Byrd, composed in 1591, here performed by the incomparable Voces8.

    Haec dies quam fecit Dominus: exultemus et laetemur in ea, alleluia. This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us be glad and rejoice therein. Alleluia.

    Indeed. Christus natus est, and a merry Christmas to all.

    And here be J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, composed and performed in 1734-35, along with the Easter and Ascension Oratorios, is the most complex of the three, in six parts, for major commemorations during the Christmas season, from the Birth of the Messiah to the Adoration of the Magi at Epiphany. The work is rich, full and celebratory, and a fitting way to rejoice in these days of great joy, here performed by the Netherlands Bach Society: