Schütz: Christmas Vespers / McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort and Players
Heinrich Schütz's Christmas Story, besides being a historical milestone, has always been one of 17th-century music's crowd-pleasers--the former because it's the ancestor of Christmas oratorios by Bach, Charpentier, and even Berlioz; the latter because it presents engaging depictions of the characters in the Nativity story with a cornucopia of colorful instruments (piping recorders for the shepherds, a galumphing bassoon (representing the gait of the camels?) for the three wise men, regally blaring cornets for King Herod, and pompous trombones for his priests). As you might expect, there are a number of fine recordings of this proto-oratorio, from the graceful and somewhat delicate rendition of René Jacobs to the high-energy performance of Robert King. As usual, Paul McCreesh goes where no one has gone before, showing us the context for which Schütz probably wrote the work in the first place: a Christmas Day Vespers service at the court in Dresden where the composer was chapel master. McCreesh's reconstruction includes thrilling performances of two Christmas hymns (with tunes by Luther himself), organ music by Scheidt, a psalm from Schütz's collection Psalmen Davids, a delicate motet for four soloists, and (in an electrifying reading) a lavish multiple-choir Magnificat. Alongs...
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Roskilde Cathedral - Travel in Denmark - Travel & Discover
Roskilde Cathedral, in the city of Roskilde on the island of Zealand in eastern Denmark, is a cathedral of the Lutheran Church of Denmark. The first Gothic cathedral to be built of brick, it encouraged the spread of the Brick Gothic style throughout Northern Europe. Constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries, the cathedral incorporates both Gothic and Romanesque architectural features in its design.