Praetorius: Christmas Vespers

The Toronto Consort
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"This is a really satisfying and thoughtfully organized program of music by a composer often overlooked... music lovers have at least one new release to celebrate this season." - Classics Today

"Most of these solemn, thoughtful works deserve to be better known, especially several [of the] charming carols" - The WholeNote

This recording recreates a Vespers (evening) service for Christmas as it might have sounded in a large north European church in the early 17th century.

For a recent Christmas, The Toronto Consort undertook one of its most ambitious projects ever when they recreated a Christmas Vespers. Michael Praetorius is one of the most prolific and influential composers of the early German Baroque. Here, in one of his most important masterworks, one encounters all the wonderful new musical techniques: masterful use of madrigalian word-painting; contrasting vocal and instrumental forces, combined and recombined in seemingly infinite variety.

A melding of voices and baroque instruments such as cornetto (a hybrid instrument with a small trumpet-like mouthpiece and fingerholes like a recorder), sackbut (the trombone ancestor) and theorbos (a type of archlute developed in the 1500s) makes up a powerful ensemble of more than 60 talented artists.

The rich German sound of the organ, combined with the delicate tones of the recorder and the soaring voices of the choir combine to create an unforgettable Christmas experience. This wonderful recording of this beautiful work is the only one currently available.

Catalog: MAR 335
Preview or purchase on iTunes Canada USA

Track Listing

  1. Opening Hymn: "Geborn ist Gottes Söhnelein"
  2. The Ten Commandments: "Die zehen Gebot"
  3. Credo: "Wir gläuben all an einen Gott"
  4. Reading: "So schreibt der heilige Lucas"
  5. Jubilate Domino (Psalm 98)
  6. The Lord's Prayer: "Vater unser in dem Himmel"
  7. Hymnum de tempore: "Der neugebornen Kindelein"
  8. Antiphon: "Christum unsern Heiland"
  9. Magnificat, Part I: "Meine Seel erhebt den Herren"
  10. Carol: Ein Kind geborn zu Bethlehem
  11. Magnificat, Part II: "Denn er hat große Ding an mir getan"
  12. Carol: "Freut euch, ihr lieben Christen"
  13. Magnificat, Part III: "Er stößet die Gewaltigen vom Stuhl"
  14. Carol: "Von Himmel hoch" (Listen)
  15. Magnificat, Part IV: "Wie er geredt hat unsern Vätern"
  16. Carol: "Joseph lieber, Joseph mein"
  17. Collect: "Der Herr sei mit euch"
  18. Blessing: "Benedicamus aeterno Regi"
  19. Closing Hymn: "In dulci jubilo"

Total playing time 59:44

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