Seventeenth Century Chrismas Eve

A stylishly performed musical stocking filled with unexpected seasonal delights

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Johann Georg Reichard, Johann Georg Reichwein, Benedikt Anton Aufschnaiter, Franz Tunder, Melchior Schildt, Johann Joseph Fux, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, Georg Christoph Leuttner, Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, Pál Esterházy, Philipp Friedrich Böddecker, Dietrich Buxtehude, Johann Rosenmüller

Genre:

Vocal

Label: Basic Edition

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Stereo
DDD

Catalogue Number: 910 078-2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Weihachts-Weissagung Susanne Rydén
Bell'Arte Salzburg
Johann Georg Reichard Composer
Aria de Navitate Domini Bell'Arte Salzburg
Johann Georg Reichwein Composer
Susanne Rydén
Kommt beschauet die Weisoheit Bell'Arte Salzburg
Susanne Rydén
Benedikt Anton Aufschnaiter Composer
Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme Bell'Arte Salzburg
Susanne Rydén
Franz Tunder Composer
Ach mein herzliebes Jesulein Melchior Schildt Composer
Susanne Rydén
Bell'Arte Salzburg
(79) Partitas and Sonatas Johann Joseph Fux Composer
Bell'Arte Salzburg
Sonata, '(La) Pastorella' Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber Composer
Bell'Arte Salzburg
Alma Redemptoris Mater Georg Christoph Leuttner Composer
Bell'Arte Salzburg
Susanne Rydén
Sonata a tre, 'Pastoral' Johann Heinrich Schmelzer Composer
Bell'Arte Salzburg
Cur fles Jesu Susanne Rydén
Bell'Arte Salzburg
Pál Esterházy Composer
Natus est Jesus Susanne Rydén
Bell'Arte Salzburg
Philipp Friedrich Böddecker Composer
Also hat Gott die Welt geliebet Susanne Rydén
Bell'Arte Salzburg
Dietrich Buxtehude Composer
Lieber Herre Gott Johann Rosenmüller Composer
Susanne Rydén
Bell'Arte Salzburg
Most Baroque Christmas collections contain at least some old favourites – Corelli’s Christmas Concerto‚ the ‘Pastoral Symphony’ from Messiah‚ the Sinfonia from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and so on – but not this one. In this dip into the 17th­century Christmas repertoires from German­speaking lands there is not a single piece that has received more than a handful of recordings‚ and many that must be enjoying their first. Indeed‚ for some of these composers this may well be their first outing on record at all. Apart from the three short sonatas by the Austrians Biber‚ Schmelzer and Fux‚ all the pieces are for solo voice and instruments‚ a type of ensemble then much favoured in Germany and Austria. The richly expressive results it often yielded are not so evident here (try Easter for that)‚ but this is attractive music nevertheless. Perhaps not surprisingly‚ the composers from the southern end of the region – Rosenmüller‚ Aufschnaiter‚ Esterházy‚ Leuttner – tend towards the rural pipe and drone effects and slightly sentimental lullabies familiar from Italian Christmas music; while those from the Protestant north – Buxtehude‚ Tunder‚ Schildt – show a preference for building their music around appropriate chorale melodies. Most striking to my ears were Esterházy’s exquisitely touching lullaby Cur fles Jesu; Böddecker’s curiously episodic Natus est Jesus‚ making effective use of the well­known tune ‘Joseph‚ lieber Joseph mein’; and a boisterous dance­song by Reichwein‚ a mystery man about whom I have so far discovered nothing (the booklet offers no information other than texts). There is also an odd­man­out in the work by the 18th­century composer Reichard‚ clearly a work from a different age but pleasingly responsive to text. The performances are enjoyable and stylish. The instrumental playing shows involvement and warmth‚ though the latter is undermined by a somewhat unlovely recorded sound‚ while Susanne Rydén’s singing is a treat‚ technically secure‚ beguiling of timbre and never failing to convey an apt sense of innocence and joy. Despite a few signs of hurried recording‚ this is a good buy‚ and not just for Christmas.

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