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Praetorius: Lutheran Mass for Christmas Morning - McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort and Players

Praetorius: Lutheran Mass for Christmas Morning - McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort and Players

$ 10.99

, “The aesthetic of contrast,so central to early Baroque spectacle (sacred or profane),is inspired here by the traditional part played by the congregation in Lutheran worship. Praetorius's music for the figuraliter (the vocal/ instrumental choirs) is greatly influenced by fashionable Venetian techniques. But what's striking is the way the old alternatim practices of the Protestant church blend so naturally with the intricate textures and scorings of a colourful Italian-style canvas,ranging from intimate dialogues to full grandiloquent sonority. What's more,the centrality of the chorale is never compromised. Despite all these ingredients,it's McCreesh's research and imagination that make this service such a powerful testament to the faith expressed by Lutherans of Praetorius's generation,and indeed by subsequent generations to which Bach was so indebted. The service follows,to all intents and purposes,the Mass of the Roman rite (sung distinction by the Gabrieli Consort though the sopranos seem a little unsure in the Kyrie) interspersed with a versatile array of motets,hymns,prayers,intoned readings,a superbly conceived and suitably mysterious Pavan by Schein for the approach to Communion and several rhetorically positioned organ preludes. For a congregation,the Gabrieli Consort and players are joined by the boys of Roskilde Cathedral,Denmark and a some local amateur choirs. The effect is remarkable for its fervour in the hymns; now one can see why Von Himmel hoch da kommich her inspired so many settings in the 17th century.,Other familiar tunes include Quem pastores,Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern in a shimmering prelude by Scheidt followed by a delicately nuanced motet on the same tune. In dulci jubilo is treated to a flamboyant setting by Praetorius featuring six trumpets. The spacious acoustic of the cathedral exhibits McCreesh's acute timbral sense; definition isn't ideally sharp but this is a small price to pay for a natural perspective which embraces the sense of community worship essential for this project.” --Gramophone Guide to CDs