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Praetorius: Christmas Music CD

2 customer reviews

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Praetorius: Christmas Music + Praetorius: Mass (Lutheran Mass for Christmas Morning) /Gabrieli Consort & Players · McCreesh
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Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Michael Praetorius
  • Audio CD (26 Sept. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: HYPERION HELIOS
  • ASIN: B005EMNLVE
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 187,731 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland [6'32]
2. Pueri nostri concinite Singet und klinget [3'45]
3. Dances from Terpsichore [7'03]
4. Puer natus in Bethlehem Ein Kind geborn [6'23]
5. Quem pastores laudavere [6'24]
6. Vom Himmel hoch [3'27]
7. Es ist ein Ros entsprunen [1'24]
8. Dances from Terpsichore [7'46]
9. Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern [2'36]
10. Nun helft mir Gottes Güte schon preisen [3'06]

Product Description

CD Description

Michael Praetorius was a hugely versatile German composer. His 1603 post as Kapellmeister in Wolfenbüttel necessitated extensive travel throughout Germany, enabling him to establish widespread acclaim as a conductor and musical advisor. Praetoriuss church music is much less known today than it should be, partly because of the sheer volume that he composed. This beautiful selection of hymns, chorales and carols attempts to reproduce the effect of a performance under Praetoriuss direction; soloists are drawn from the choir and instruments of late sixteenth- or early seventeenth-century design are used.

Review

A glorious early Baroque Christmas treat --(Harmonia)

Well crafted music, sensitively performed and recorded --(Gramophone)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 25 Mar. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely marvellous cd, which I’m only sorry it’s taken me so long to find. Michael Praetorius is one of my favourite sixteenth century composers, and it was his collection of dances (Terpsichore) that first ignited my love of early music years ago. He was born in c. 1571 and died in 1621. Although he seems to have spent most, or all of his life in Germany, his music has a lightness of touch which is influenced by Italian composers of the time, and he was familiar with the works of Giovanni Gabrieli. Praetorius also worked with Heinrich Schutz, another of my favourite composers. Praetorius’s religious works are important because it is indicative of quite early Protestant music, and his music was heard at various German courts.

This cd offers a wonderful variety of Praetorius, from choral music through to some of his Terpischore pieces. There are 8 choral works and two selections of Terpsichore dances (totalling some 15 minutes for the dance works). The booklet points out that Praetorius’s church music is less known today than it deserves to be, partly because it has been overshadowed by Heinrich Schutz’s music. However, Praetorius’s music stands proudly in its own right as a highly successful blend of Italian Baroque and Lutheran chorale. The choral works on the cd are a nice blend of the devotional and joyous, always clear and lyrical.

These works are wonderful, and they are in this recording performed beautifully by the Westminster Cathedral Choir (an all-male selection, as would have been used in Praetorius’s time), and The Parley of Instruments (using late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century designed instruments) under David Hill. The works have followed Praetorius’s own instructions for performance as far as possible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marcia TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Dec. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
David Hill and the Parley of Instruments with the Westminster Cathedral Choir bring us a wonderfully atmospheric Christmas compilation of music by Michael Praetorius on this CD.
The disc really does offer a fabulous rich sound recording. The performers have given us a totally engaging taste of Italian Baroque flavoured Lutheran Church music for Christmas.
By combining different extracts from various works by Praetorius we get a rich programme full of sound texture and harmony.

The compilation of pieces by Praetorius begins with Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland. This is also connected to track four Peur Natus in Bethlehem, track six Vom Himmel Hoch, and track nine Wie shon leuchtet der Morgenstern, These are all from Polyhymnia (1619)
Then there are pieces from Peuricinium 1621 with tracks two Pueri nostri concinite, track five Quem Patores laudevere and track ten Nun Helft mir gottes Gute schon Preisen.
Track seven Es ist ein Ros entsprungen is from Musae Sioniae 1609. And in between those tracks there is Dances from Terpsichore on tracks three and eight.

Using instruments of the late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century, the Parley of Instruments give us a performance in keeping with the times of Praetorius. The period instrument sound is rich with the likes of violin, viola, bandora, lute, theorbo, renaissance harp, organ and drum.
The clear digital sound recorded in Westminster Cathedral is a treat. This release was recorded in the mid 1980s and now it is must have Christmas record.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Poor Quality 7 Nov. 2011
By Diana - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The sound quality was extremely poor on this CD. It was mushy and very low. Very disappointing! Must have been a production issue.
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