A German Christmas

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Program: #17-50, Air Date: 12/04/17

As we bid farewell to the Luther 500th anniversary, music from the German world up to the Baroque era.

I. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott: Luther and the Music of the Reformation (Vox Luminus/Lionel Meunier). Ricercar CD RIC 376.

EIN FESTE BURG IST UNSER GOTT - LUTHER AND THE MUSIC OF THE REFORMATION

A two-CD set devoted to the Lutheran liturgical repertory from Martin Luther himself to Heinrich Schütz.

The first disc comprises compositions specific to the Lutheran liturgy: Deutsche Messe, Deutsches Magnificat, Deutsche Passion (the first German polyphonic Passion, by Joachim von Burck) and even a reconstruction of a Deutsches Requiem drawn from polyphonic works that set the same texts as those Brahms was later to use for his Deutsches Requiem.

The second disc presents a selection of motets arranged according to the liturgical calendar, from Advent to Trinity. These polyphonic pieces were written by a wide range of composers including Martin Luther, Andreas Hammerschmidt, Michael Praetorius, Joachim von Burck, Christoph Bernhardt, Heinrich Schütz, Thomas Selle, Melchior Franck, Caspar Othmayr, Michael Altenburg, Samuel Scheidt, Johann Hermann Schein and Johann Walter. The organist Bart Jacobs completes the programme with a few organ pieces by seventeenth-century composers.

Heinrich Scheidemann: Praeambulum in D Minor, WV 33

Praeambulum in D Minor, WV 33

Michael Altenburg: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

Andreas Hammerschmidt: Freude, Freude, grosse Freude

Freude, Freude, grosse Freude

Paul Siefert: Puer natus in Bethlehem

Puer natus in Bethlehem

Michael Praetorius: Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen

Es ist ein Ros' entsprungen

Samuel Scheidt: Cantiones sacrae: No. 117 Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, SSWV 117

Cantiones sacrae: No. 117 Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, SSWV 117

Johann Hermann Schein: O Jesulein, mein Jesulein

O Jesulein, mein Jesulein

Michael Praetorius: Herr, nun lassest du deinen Diener

Herr, nun lassest du deinen Diener

Delphin Strungk: Lass mich dein sein und bleiben

Lass mich dein sein und bleiben

Caspar Othmayr: O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß

O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß

Samuel Scheidt: Cantiones sacrae: No. 22. Christ lag in Todesbanden, SSWV 22 (arr. for vocal ensemble)

Cantiones sacrae: No. 22. Christ lag in Todesbanden, SSWV 22 (arr. for vocal ensemble)

Samuel Scheidt: Christ ist erstanden

Christ ist erstanden

Samuel Scheidt: Cantiones sacrae: No. 9. Ascendo ad patrem meum, SSWV 9

Cantiones sacrae: No. 9. Ascendo ad patrem meum, SSWV 9

Thomas Selle: Veni Sancte Spiritus

Veni Sancte Spiritus

Bartholomäus Gesius: Der du bist drei in Einigkeit

Der du bist drei in Einigkeit

Melchior Franck: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott

Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott

Michael Praetorius: Choral Fantasy "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott"

Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott

Heinrich Schütz: Meine Seele erhebt den Herren, SWV 494, "Teutsch Magnificat" (arr. for vocal ensemble)

Meine Seele erhebt den Herren, SWV 494, "Teutsch Magnificat" (arr. for vocal ensemble)

Christoph Bernhard: Missa "Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam”

II. Jauchze du Tochter Zion—Christmas Cantatas (Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willerns). CPO CD 555.052-2.

Stolzel Homilius Rolle Christmas Cantatas Akademie Michael Alexander Willens Cpo

 

Most of these works were composed for liturgical use in the Christian churches. It is a rewarding experience to sift through the repertoire and to edit and record previously unknown works. This year our Christmas CD presents recording premieres of five cantatas: one each by Bach’s contemporaries Christoph Förster (1693-1745) and Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690-1749) and three by members of the following generation, one by Gottfried August Homilius (1714-85) and two by Johann Heinrich Rolle (1716-85). All the cantatas were composed for use in Lutheran religious services and are based on a similar plan of construction: an extensive opening chorus is followed by recitatives and arias, and a chorale strophe from a church hymn concludes the work. The opening choruses are usually based on short quotations from the Bible, and the festive splendour of the trumpets and timpani forms the dominant tonal element.

Förster: Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe
Homilius: Erhöhet die Tore der Welt
J. H. Rolle: Jauchze du Tochter Zion, Siehe Finsternis bedecket das Erdenreich
Stölzel: Kündlich groß ist das gottselige Geheimnis

III. German Baroque Sacred Music: Christmas (various artists) Ricercar CD RIC 349.

Deutsche Geistliche Barockmusik: Weihnachten (German Baroque Sacred Music: Christmas)

With the participation of: Bernard Foccroulle, Max Van Egmond, Reinoud Van Mechelen, Hans Jörg Mammel, Ian Honeyman, Guy de Mey, Henri Ledroit, Claire Lefilliâtre, Agnès Mellon, Greta De Reyghere, Stefan Geyer, Elisabeth Scholl

Here already is the second set of LES PLEIADES, ‘the intelligent collection of RICERCAR re-releases’. Again devoted to the German Baroque religious repertoire, this appropriate release focuses on the Nativity repertoire, extending from the early 17th century to the generation of Johann Sebastian Bach who is represented here by a few very beautiful Christmas cantatas. Alongside Schütz’s Christmas Oratorio and lovely Yuletide cantatas by Bach’s contemporary Christoph Graupner, we will find in this set the evocation of Nativity scenes, from the Annunciation up to the Presentation in the Temple, as well as the reconstruction of a Lutheran Christmas service. The compositions by Praetorius, Selle, Tunder, Lübeck, Buxtehude, Scheidt, Hammerschmidt, Schütz and Bruhns will tell you the Christmas story with tenderness and joy.

The extensive track listing for this 7 CD set can be found here:

https://www.outhere-music.com/en/albums/german-baroque-sacred-music-christmas-ric-349/booklet

 

Composer Info

Heinrich Scheidemann, Michael Altenbur, Johann Sebastian Bach, Christoph Graupner, Tunder, Lübeck, Buxtehude, Bruhns g, Andreas Hammerschmidt, Paul Siefert, Michael Praetorius, Samuel Scheidt, Johann Hermann Schein, Delphin Strungk, Caspar Othmayr, Thomas Selle, Bartholomäus Gesius, Melchior Franck, Heinrich Schütz, Christoph Bernhard, Martin Luther, Christoph Förster (1693-1745), Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690-1749) , Gottfried August Homilius (1714-85), Johann Heinrich Rolle (1716-85)

CD Info

CD RIC 376, CPO CD 555.052-2, CD RIC 349