Christmas Vespers: Music of Michael Praetorius
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Cat No: AV2306
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 6th November 2015
‘Christmas Vespers: Music of Michael Praetorius’ highlights the virtuosic vocal and instrumental music of the extraordinarily versatile 17th-century German composer, assembled as in the Baroque tradition by Apollo’s Fire’s founder/director Jeanette Sorrell.
'Music for the people' could have been the motto for 17th-century German composer Michael Praetorius. He adhered to the ideals of Protestant pioneer Martin Luther - of whom his father was a disciple - that music, like religion, should be open and free to all.
Praetorius was an extraordinarily versatile composer and, along with J S Bach, was one of the greatest composers of Protestant church music in Germany. With his music, he strived to bring together people of all walks of life - professional singers, congregations, villagers and children alike - an aim mirrored in the present day’s BBC program 'The Choir'.
Like the Vespers settings in the 17th century - most notably the Vespers of 1610 by Monteverdi, who inspired Praetorius - this Christmas Vespers is an assemblage of works by Praetorius that Apollo’s Fire’s founder/director Jeanette Sorrell has compiled. It highlights his virtuosic vocal and instrumental writing and includes as interludes his popular carol settings, O Morning Star and Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.
AWAITING THE MESSIAH: A LUTHERAN ADVENT SERVICE
1. PROCESSIONAL: Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland
Chorale melody by Martin Luther, arrangement/English adaptation Sorrell
2. Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland
Polyphonic setting from Polyhymnia caduceatrix
3. HYMN: Wachet Auf! From Polyhymnia caduceatrix
4. CAROL: Puer Natus in Bethlehem, from Polyhymnia caduceatrix
5. OFFERTORY: Ach, Mein Herre, from Polyhymnia caduceatrix
6. CREDO: Wir glauben all
Melody by Martin Luther, harmonized setting from Musica Sionae
7. Dances from Terpsichore
Bransle de Poictu - Gaillarde - Bransle gay - Bransle simple - Bransle double
8. GLORIA: Glori sei Gott, from Polyhymnia caduceatrix
A VESPERS SERVICE FOR CHRISTMAS DAY
9. HYMN: Queen Pastores, from Puericinium
10. ANTIPHON: Christum wir sollen loben (plainchant)
Chorale melody by Martin Luther
11. MAGNIFICAT, Parts I & II, from Polyhymnia caduceatrix
12. CAROL: O Morning Star, from Polyhymnia caduceatrix
13. MAGNIFICAT, Parts III & IV
14. CAROL: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming, from Musica Sionae
15. Our Father in Heaven, from Musica Sionae
16. BENEDICTION: Benedicamus aeterno Regi, from Eulogodia Sionia I (1611)
17. ORGAN VOLUNTARY: Nun lob mein Seel, from Musica Sionae
18. CLOSING HYMN: In dulci jubilo / Good Christian Friends, Rejoice! From Polyhymnia caduceatrix
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