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A Yorkshire Nativity



Corelli Christmas Concerto

Bach Cantata 140 ‘Wachet auf'

Crick A Yorkshire Nativity (first performance)

The Clothworkers Consort of Leeds
Skipton Building Society Camerata
Ben Crick conductor

Celebrate Christmas this year with two perennial favourites - Corelli's Christmas Concerto and Bach's Wachet Auf - and Ben Crick’s new oratorio A Yorkshire Nativity incorporating 18th century carols written for the churches and market places of Yorkshire. 

Arcangelo Corelli's celebrated Christmas Concerto (Op.6 No.8) dating from the 1680s is most famous for its ‘Pastorale’, using folk-like tunes and the sounds Sicilian shepherds might have made attending the birth of Jesus.

Also a perennial favourite with audiences is the advent cantata of 1724 Wachet Auf ('Sleepers awake!'), considered one of JS Bach's mature masterpieces and notable for containing of the most beautiful and best-known melodies in all classical music.

Around the same time that Bach wrote his cantata, John Hall, a Yorkshire blacksmith, was one of many working people composing carols and Christmas music in their spare time for performance in the churches and market places of Yorkshire. Hall's carols, which predate most of the carols we sing today, are the inspiration behind A Yorkshire Nativity for chorus and orchestra by Bradford playwright Sally Edwards and composer-conductor Ben Crick. Incorporating the 300-year old tunes, the new oratorio reimagines the nativity story in a contemporary setting that reflects the concerns, ambitions and dreams of the people of Yorkshire who created this music all those Christmases ago.