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Thread: Michael Praetorius: Great German Church Music!

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    Thumbs Up Michael Praetorius: Great German Church Music!

    Without a doubt this an album I would urge many Althing members to purchahse. It would certainly be a wonderful way for them to connect with their spiritual and musical heritage. Probably would make a wonderful Christmas gift.

    This has to be one of the finest recordings of church music I've ever heard. It's Mass for Christmas Morning, which contains music written by the 17th century composer Michael Praetorius; perfomed by the Garbieli Consort and Players .



    Here's a basic description of this album from the CD booklet:

    "This recording presents a selection of Praetorious's music as it might as have been heard at a Lutheran mass for Christmas morning celebrated at one of the major churches in central Germany around 1620. The reconstruction follows the 1596 Wolfenbüttel Order of Service, a rite owing much to Luther's Wittenburg liturgies which was in use throughout Praetorious's lifetime. Although it follows the structure of the Roman mass, the Lutheran mass is more flexible, allowing for more congregational participation...."
    More than enough detail was put into this trying to literally recreate as much as possible how this music was performed back in the 17th century. It was recorded in Roskilde Cathedral in Denmark.

    You can listen to samples both at Amazon and here. These are some of my favorites from the album:

    Gloria (Missa: gantz Teudsch)

    I absolutely love their rendition of "Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her"

    "Quem pastores laudavere"

    Sanctus motet: Jesaja dem Propheten das geschah

    Puer nobix nascitur

    And the ever amazing grand finale: In Dulci Jubilo. One interesting thing to note here is that the group literally followed Praetorius' advice and placed all the trumpeters outside the church.


    It truely is an amazing work of art, and there have been plenty of praise for it. Check out this one Amazon review:
    If Lutheran worship still sounded like this..., June 11, 2002
    By Clinton D. Davis (Norman, OK United States) - See all my reviews

    This CD absolutely blew me away. It truly is a religious experience, and should do a lot for us church musicians who want to expand our repertoire into exciting but still traditional areas. The music is, well, heavenly. It still sounds as fresh, exciting and liberating as the day it went into the choir loft, and I can only imagine that worship like this was what really sent the Reformation raging through Europe even long after Luther was gone. For example, Praetorius' setting of the old Lutheran Sanctus "Isaiah the prophet": well, let's just say, when it gets to the line "and all the house was filled with billowing smoke", you just have stand up or you'll wet your pants, no joke. Paul McCreesh did a wonderful job of making this feel like you are sitting in church, not in a concert hall, and the worship experience leaves you hungry for more. It really feels like Christmas eve. Hey ELCA bishops, listen to this disc and learn a thing or two about what it REALLY means to be Lutheran...bring on the long blacks and ruffles, bring on the chorales, bring it all on, ELCA, and some of us Episcopalians of Scandinavian descent might just come back...
    I don't know about weeting your pants, but I do agree that that line of the Sanctus certainly at least gives you a chill down your spine.

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    Holy shit; somebody has actually uploaded much of the album onto youtube!!!!

    Part one
    Part two
    Part three
    Part four
    Part five
    Part six - the stunning finale!!!

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    Thanks for the links, I love music from this period.

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