8 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 4 - December 2004

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Praetorius - Christmas

Praetorius - Christmas Vespers Toronto Consort with instrwnental ensemble & the Toronto Chamber Choir Marquis 81335 Christm3$ in Darmstadt Les ldees Heureuses; Genevieve Soly Analekta 2 9115 Charpentier - Messe de Minuit pour Noel Aradia Ensemble; Kevin Mallon Naxos 8.557229 Jn du lei jubilo. Here it is performed as a stately offering of thanks, whereas its English counterpart is often sung at a fast gallop. Most of these solemn, thoughtful works deserve to be better known, especially several charming carols that have not found their way to prominence in the English-language choral repertoire. Among these is the tender, tuneful Joseph lieber, Joseph mein, in which the Virgin asks her earthly husband (surely the most overlooked character in the Nativity story) to help cradle the newborn Jesus. For those fatigued by endless renditions of th.e standard Christmas repertoire, these four discs offer rich musical accompaniment to the season from less familiar composers. "Puer Natus Est" presents 14 hymns in honour of the Virgin Mary and the Nativity by Giovanni Gabrieli and his contemporaries: Claude Goudimel, Giovanni Picchi, Sebastian Aguilera de Heredia, Johann Hennann Schein, Juan de Esquivel Barahona, Giovanni Baptista Grillo and Pedro Rimante. Gabrieli, an organist at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, is C-Onsidered to represent the height of Italian musical composition for his period (1550s-1612), and his works are imbued with the majestic and inspiring spirit of their subject matter. "Christmas in Darmstadt" continues Genevieve Soly's explorations, with her ensemble Les Id6es Heureuses, into the oeuvre of a later German Lutheran, Christophe Graupner ( 1683-1760). This recording assembles five major compositions, including complete Cantatas written for church services on the First Sunday of Advent, the First Sunday after Christmas and the Third Day of Christmas. Graupner was almost exactly contemporary with Handel, whose Messiah is such a seasonal staple, and his music offers the same Baroque purity of soaring voices and driving strings, ornamented in this case with particularly lovely recorder work from Natalie Michaud. The beauty of the German lyrics (handily translated in the liner notes) and the opulent simplicity of the musical arrangements evoke a spirit of faith, rectitude and confidence in the power of good over evil in this world and the next. C HARP :NTJ £R ...,,,. '1csst 4t n'"'u ,oo r Oturn ... ,... . .. AVAILABLE AT ALL GOOD CLASSICAL RECORD STORES EMAIL TO BE DIRECTED TO A STORE NEAR YOU Only a few decades divide the late Renaissance of Gabrieli and the early German Baroque, exemplified by Michael Praetorius (1571- 1621). His music for the Lutheran church represents the largest e-01- lection of the period, and this selection includes a few recogniza- French composer Marc-Antoine ble airs. For example, the tune that Charpentier (c.1643-1704) was a has become Good Christian Men collaborator with Molire and con­ Rejoice originated as a hymn called temporary of Lully. The Aradia 90 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM DECEMBER 1 2004 - FEBRUARY 7 2005

Siegf ned, and all the operas that comprise the Ring Cycle are available on Deutsche Grammophon DVD. Featuring The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and James Levine Siegfried Das Rheingold Die Walkure - 2 DVD Set Gotterdammerung - 2 DVD Set The Ring of the Nibelungen - 7 DVD Set These titles will be on sale at Bay Bloor Radio during this event. They are available the other 364 days of the year at : L'Atelier Grigorian A DIVISION OF GRIGORIAN HOLDINGS LIMITED 70 Yorkv1lle Avenue Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5R 189 Phone: 416-922-6477 Fax: 416-922-4879

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