Naxos Distribution—More Holiday Discs

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Program: #15-02, Air Date: 01/05/15

NOTE: All of the program this month feature recordings that are part of the expanded Naxos Distribution family. Keeping our tradition of the 12 days of Christmas, we turn to some new releases we missed for the season.

I. Stille Nacht…Christmas Choir Music (RIAS Kammerchor/Uwe Gronostay). Audite CD 97.711.

The Christmas carols on this CD form a dramaturgical cycle, beginning with the mysterious night into which falls the light of God; there follow narrative and devotional songs as well as hymns of praise leading to the birth of Christ, then back into the night that also symbolically bears within itself the breaking of the new day. They form an arc extending from the music of the Renaissance and Baroque to romantic choral works, settings of lieder and compositions of the 20th century.

For over forty years, Uwe Gronostay strongly influenced German and European choral culture as a conductor, pedagogue and organiser in equal measure in the professional choral scene, with the high-achievement ensembles amongst amateur choirs, in education at academies of music and in international networking. He would have turned 75 on 25 October 2014. To mark this occasion, audite is releasing the present CD with Christmas carols recorded by Gronostay for the RIAS Berlin during the 14 years of his period as artistic director of the RIAS Chamber Choir between 1972 and 1986. Alongside several well-known pieces, there are also lesser-known ones that will offer interested listeners a welcome expansion of the Christmas repertoire. At the same time, the CD documents Gronostay's view that all ambitious choral work should begin with the stylistic richness and sonic challenges of the a-cappella literature, progressively working from short forms to major works.

+Willaert: Mirabile mysterium declaratur hodie
+Stoltzer: Dies sanctificatus illuxit nobis / Grates nunc omnes
+Senfl: Et filius datus est nobis
+Praetorius: Enatus est Emanuel
+Anonymus: Psallite unigenito
+Schröter: Lobt Gott, ihr Christen alle gleich / Freut euch, ihr lieben Christen
+Calvisius: Freut euch und jubiliert / Gloria in excelsis Deo / Joseph, lieber Joseph mein
+Crüger: Wie soll ich dich empfangen
+Eccard: Übers Gebirg Maria geht
+Grabert: Das Reis
+Herzogenberg: Meine Seele erhebt den Herren
+Loewe: In dulci jubilo
+Jehn: Er ist da / Hier liegt das Kindlein / Auf dem Heu / Nacht überm Judaland / Mit lieblichen FLöten/ Kommt, ihr Brüder / Geboren im Stalle / Macht euch auf
+Micheelsen: Der du die Welt geschaffen hast / Trittst du wieder vor die Nacht / Steht auf und wacht
+David: O oriens splendor lucis aeternae
+Zimmermann: Lobet, ihr Knechte / Uns ist ein Kind geboren
+Barbe: O Tannenbaum / Maria durch ein Dornwald Ging
+Gronostay: Die Nacht ist vorgedrungen
+Gruber: Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht

II. Lauter Freude, lauter Wonne—Christmas Music from the Marktkirche, Hannover (Elisabeth Schwanda, recorder/Ute Engelke, soprano/Ulfert Smidt, organ). Rondeau CD ROP6095.

Musical emotions ranging from anticipation to exaltation, from the expectation to the fulfilment of a wonder: Advent and Christmas music for soprano, recorder, and organ. Three of the oldest means of musical expression come together in order to generate fascinating tone-colours and exceptional combinations in an inspired concert programme rich in nuance.

Lauter Wonne, lauter Freude, TWV 1:1040: Aria: Lauter Wonne, lauter Freude
04:18

Cantiones de Adventu Domini ac salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi: Intrada: Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (arr. for voice, recorder and organ)
02:25

Susser Trost, mein Jesus kommt, BWV 151
09:43

Der Fluyten Lust-hof, Book 2: No. 125. Puer nobis nascitur
03:18

Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd!, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Aria: Schafe konnen sicher weiden
04:53

Recorder Concerto in D Major, Op. 10, No. 3, RV 428, "Il gardellino": II. Cantabile
02:57

Pastorale in E Major, Op. 19
09:54

6 Schubler Chorales, BWV 645-650: Meine Seele erhebet den Herren, BWV 648
02:17

Exulta filia Sion, SV 303
05:13

Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ
02:38

Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstern
01:37

12 Orgelstycken over koralmotiv (12 Organ Pieces on Choral Themes), Op. 36: No. 2. Jul: Psalm 55, "Var halsad, skona morgonstund"
04:06

Musikalische Weynacht- und New Jahrs Zierde: Ein wunderschones Kindelein - In dulci jubilo (arr. for voice, recorder and organ)
02:32

Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her
03:28

Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn, BWV 132: Aria: Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn!
06:30

 

III. Au Sainct nau (Ensemble Clément Janequin/Dominique Visse). Alpha CD 198.

Ensemble Clement Janequin-Au Sainct Nau

With all the delicacy bestowed on them by their humour and their talent, Dominique Visse and his Ensemble Clément Janequin juxtapose various aspects of the feast of Christmas, from sacred vocal pieces to parodies with bawdy texts, alongside the young Trio Musica Humana. Au Sainct Nau CD music contains a single disc with 19 songs.

From Allmusic.com: This little-heralded release from France's consistently inventive Alpha label offers a window onto a fascinating, little-heard repertory of the French Renaissance, itself underrepresented as a whole on recordings in comparison with Netherlandish and Italian varieties. It's a Christmas album, and its booklet takes as a point of departure a quotation from poet Barthélemy Aneau about families who would "innocently pass the time in joyous Christmas carols" on long winter evenings instead of with "lascivious songs." Some of the carols, by Claudin de Sermisy and a variety of lesser-known composers, have links to those lascivious songs; do not fail to check out Clément Janequin's Il estoyt une fillette (There was a maid, track 6) with its delightful religious adaptation of what must originally have been a pretty raunchy text. On the other hand, the program sets these semi-popular pieces against the more elevated language of the Catholic mass, represented by parts of Jacques Arcadelt's Missa Noe noe, whose motet model by Jean Mouton is also present. The troped Kyrie of this mass, recapitulating the story of Christ's birth, is intriguing, as are the topical references (check out O gras tondus, the spoken attack on corrupt monks, track 16) and the colloquial variants of French along the way. The overall effect of the program is medieval, with different moods and social layers coexisting. Dominique Visse and his Ensemble Clément Janequin, augmented by the Trio Musica Humana, match this with just slightly rough singing that puts across the flavor of the texts beautifully. This may seem a rather specialized release, but it is of interest to anyone who likes the music of the 16th century.

01 Conditor alme syderum
02 Conditor le jour de Noel
03 Fantaisie n°4 sur Conditor alme syderum
04 Noe noe psallite noe
05 Missa Noe noe, Kyrie
06 Il estoyt une fillette
07 Plaisir n’ay plus que vivre en desconfort
08 Dison Nau à pleine teste
09 Au bois de deuil
10 Fantaisie n°31 sur Une jeune fillette
11 O beata infantia
12 Fantaisie n°30 sur Une jeune fillette
13 Une jeune pucelle
14 Allons gay bergiere
15 L’on sonne une cloche
16 O gras tondus
17 Vous perdez temps heretiques infames
18 Esprit divins, chantons dans la nuit sainte
19 Missa Noe noe, Agnus Dei

With all the delicacy bestowed on them by their humour and their talent, Dominique Visse and his Ensemble Clément Janequin juxtapose various aspects of the feast of Christmas, from sacred vocal pieces to parodies with bawdy texts, alongside the young Trio Musica Humana.

Track Listing:
01. Conditor alme syderum
02. Conditor le jour de Noel
03. Fantaisie n°4 sur Conditor alme syderum
04. Noe noe psallite noe
05. Missa Noe noe, Kyrie
06. Il estoyt une fillette
07. Plaisir n’ay plus que vivre en desconfort
08. Dison Nau à pleine teste
09. Au bois de deuil
10. Fantaisie n°31 sur Une jeune fillette
11. O beata infantia
12. Fantaisie n°30 sur Une jeune fillette
13. Une jeune pucelle
14. Allons gay bergiere
15. L’on sonne une cloche
16. O gras tondus
17. Vous perdez temps heretiques infames
18. Esprit divins, chantons dans la nuit sainte
19. Missa Noe noe, Agnus Dei - See more at: http://www.europadisc.co.uk/classical/119071/Au_Sainct_Nau.htm#sthash.MB2U7Yvq.dpuf

Composer Info

Willaert, Stoltzer, Senfl, Praetorius, Schröter, Calvisius, Crüger, Eccard, Grabert, Herzogenberg, Loewe, Jehn, Micheelsen, David, Zimmermann, Barbe, Gruber, Uwe Gronostay, Claudin de Sermisy, Clément Janequin

CD Info

Audite CD 97.711, Alpha CD 198, Rondeau CD ROP6095