Michael Praetorius

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Program: #09-10   Air Date: Mar 02, 2009

In a typical break with the prevailing winds, Paul Van Nevel and his Huelgas Ensemble give us a concert illustrating Praetorius' pivotal role between the Renaissance and Baroque styles of music.

Preservation of this program is made possible by a generous grant in honor of Robert Luchi.

We continue our long and fruitful association with our partners at Radio Netherlands in presenting a series of concerts from the 2008 Holland Festival of Early Music at Utrecht.

We will also direct listeners to their web site, which will provide more in-depth information about the music and performers we hear as well as more information about the festival (www.rnmusic.nl). The primary theme for 2008 was the Golden Age in Spain.

Note: All of the music on this program was performed by the Huelgas Ensemble, Paul Van Nevel, director For more information about this ensemble:


Praetorius: Pivotal composer between Renaissance and Baroque

Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) is best known for the second tome of his three-part Syntagma musicum, painstakingly listing all musical instruments of his time. His lesser known side, however, is that of a protestant church composer. The Huelgas Ensemble, featured later this Festival with Spanish music, shows how Praetorius gradually distances himself from the pure Renaissance polyphony of Northern Europe towards the end of his life. He introduces organ accompaniments, and before long completely instrumental sinfonias and ritornelli are used as pre- and interludes in hymns and psalms, music that can stand comparison with Monteverdi’s Vespers in colour and sense of adventure. The Huelgas Ensemble will perform as an extended vocal-instrumental group.

Michael Praetorius 1571-1621

1 Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, Concert-Gesang à 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 13 & 18 ("Were God not with us here today")

(from: Musae Sioniae, 1607 & 1610; Puericinium, Frankfurt, 1621)

2 Laudate Dominum à 2, 4 & 6 cum capella fidicinia ("Praise the lord, all ye nations")

(from: Polyhymnia Exercitatrix, Frankfurt, 1620)

3 Wir gläuben all in einen Gott à 2, 4 & 5 ("We all believe in one true God")

4 Puer natus in Bethlehem à 4 & 8 ("A child is born in Bethlehem")

5 Der du bist drey à 3 ("Thou Who art three in unity")

6 Wie lang willst du, o lieber Herr à 8 ("How long for you, O dear Lord")

(from: Musae Sioniae… ander Theil, Jena, 1607; …

fünffter Theil, Wolffenbüttel, 1607; … sechster Theil, Wolffenbüttel, 1609)

7 Ach mein Herre, straf mich doch nicht à in Echo ("Ah my dear Lord, I am not worthy")

(from: Polyhymnia caduceatrix et panegyrica, Wolffenbüttel, 1619)

1 Nun komm der Heiden Heiland cum Symphonia & Ritornello à & 12 ("Now come, savior of the Gentiles")

(from: Polyhymnia caduceatrix et panegyrica;

Musae Sioniae… ander Theil; … sechster Theil)

2 Hymnus In Festo Nativitatis Christi: A solis ortus cardine à 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 8 ("From lands that see the sun arise")

(from: Hymnodia Sionia, Wolffenbüttel, 1611)

3 Christe der du bist Tag und Licht à 7 8 11 12 & 16 ("Christ who art the light and day")

(from: Polyhymnia caduceatrix & panegyrica)

Composer Info

Michael Praetorius (1571-1621)

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