Author Topic: Music for Advent and Christmas  (Read 17593 times)

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Offline Gordo

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Music for Advent and Christmas
« on: November 28, 2013, 12:25:56 PM »
As the next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, I think we are exactly on time to begin this thread.

All musical periods, styles, genres and composers are welcomed.

To start a recent find:



To all those searching for a top notch version of this work, Peter Dijkstra and his group should be an option to consider.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/BRT-89XqPhw" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/BRT-89XqPhw</a>
(Available on DVD)

The unusual 4-CD set is explained because it includes a long and detailed discussion of this oratorio (in German).  :)


« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 12:29:24 PM by Gordo »
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Offline North Star

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2013, 12:39:01 PM »
Britten: A Boy is Born, A Ceremony of Carols

Schütz's Christmas Oratorio will be performed here on the 19th.
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Offline Gordo

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2013, 12:50:27 PM »
Britten: A Boy is Born, A Ceremony of Carols

Few days ago, I listened to for the first time these works (plus "Rejoice in the Lamb").

It was a fantastic experience (Stephen Cleobury, King's College Choir et al.).

All of them are lovely works.  :)
Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different.
-- Penny Lane, Almost Famous (2000)

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2013, 01:18:46 PM »
More Bach:


And this 2-for-1 reissue contains the motet and mass Hodie Christus natus est


as does this volume from the ongoing cycle by The Sixteen/Harry Christophers


of which the most recent issue is also Christmas focused


Offline Mandryka

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2013, 01:26:58 PM »


for the Canonic Variations
for the Bach/Stravinsky

« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 01:46:12 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2013, 06:59:04 PM »
Stockhausen:
Sonntag aus LICHT (the day of union)
Montag aus LICHT (the day of birth)
Breathing Gives Life (choral opera)
Amour, 5 pieces for clarinet
Inori, adorations for 1 or 2 soloists and orchestra
Menschen, hört (vocal sextet)
Musik Im Bauch for 6 percussionists & music boxes
Tierkreis (version for music boxes)
Sirius, music-theatre (winter version)


Zzzzzzz.....
"In the next world, I shan't be doing music, with all the striving and disappointments. I shall be being it.” - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Offline Gordo

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2013, 08:03:32 AM »
Come on, guys! Although quite wildly secularized, Christmas is still a Christian celebration; therefore it would be useful to consider that framework. 

And this 2-for-1 reissue contains the motet and mass Hodie Christus natus est



Curiously, I was doing some research about this antiphon some days ago, when I listened to A Ceremony of Carols by Britten. This because the "Procession" (1st mov.) is based on this piece.

Quote
“Hodie Christus Natus Est” is the antiphon sung before and after the Magnificat (song of the Virgin Mary) in the monastic service of Vespers on Christmas Day. The text announces:
Hodie Christus natus est: / Hodie Salvator apparuit: / Hodie in terra canunt Angeli, / laetantur Archangeli / Hodie exsultant justi, dicentes: / Gloria in excelsis Deo. Alleluia.
Translated:
Today Christ is born: / Today the Savior appeared: / Today on Earth the Angels sing, / Archangels rejoice: / Today the righteous rejoice, saying: / Glory to God in the highest. Alleluia.


It's used in a lot of sacred music. This morning, for instance, I'm listening to this Schütz (Kleine geistliche Konzerte, SWV 315):

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/U6AF3NJD8Gk" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/U6AF3NJD8Gk</a>

About the performance: Not bad, all circumstances considered.
Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different.
-- Penny Lane, Almost Famous (2000)

Offline HIPster

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2013, 05:09:36 PM »
Gordo - nice thread!  Thanks for starting it.

In heavy rotation here is this one, from Ensemble Organum:



I have a different edition than this one, but the music on this set is incredible!  A very moving listening experience.  Well worth the investment. . .
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 06:48:17 PM by HIPster »

Offline Gordo

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2013, 06:26:55 PM »
Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent. The first day of the liturgical year (New Year), both in Lutheran and Catholic tradition.

So it's mandatory a listen of my favorite Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV 61, performed by Gardiner and his chorus and orchestra.

BTW, I'm talking about his 1st version of the early 90s (IMO, a lot better than the second one on SDG):



 :)
Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different.
-- Penny Lane, Almost Famous (2000)

Offline Gordo

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2013, 06:30:45 PM »
In heavy rotation is this one, form Ensemble Organum:



I have a different edition than this one, but the music on this set is incredible!  A very moving listening experience.  Well worth the investment. . .

Wishlisted.  :)
Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different.
-- Penny Lane, Almost Famous (2000)

Offline Marc

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2013, 07:12:16 AM »
A few baroque Magnificats:



http://www.amazon.com/Magnificat-3-Masaaki-Suzuki/dp/B00007GXJ3/

Medieval carols and motets:



http://www.amazon.com/Yoolis-Night-Medieval-Carols-Motets/dp/B00G2IK0RW/

And, being a chauvinist pig, carols and Dutch Christmas songs by Aafje Heynis:



<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Ddj2Y1w14uk" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Ddj2Y1w14uk</a>
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2013, 01:15:49 PM »


Do you know Rohmeyer´s other Bach-recording on the Marcussen organ in Dom zu Lübeck?
It is just as good as this one, and the organ is among Marcussen´s better creations.
I think an integral was intended. A pity it wasn´t realized, for Rohmeyer is a fine and authorative musician.
Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.

Offline Gordo

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2013, 02:48:11 PM »
The excellent Collegium Marianum:

Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different.
-- Penny Lane, Almost Famous (2000)

Offline HIPster

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2013, 05:41:06 PM »
The excellent Collegium Marianum:

Looks excellent, Gordo! 

Thanks for bringing it to my attention.  :)

Now playing for thread duty:


Offline Gordo

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2013, 05:53:01 PM »
Now playing for thread duty:



Excellent!

It's included here:



Therefore, it has been added to the queue for the next week.
Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different.
-- Penny Lane, Almost Famous (2000)

Offline Gordo

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2013, 06:36:57 PM »
These days I have been listening to several versions of Bach's cantatas for Advent. As you probably know, liturgical tradition in Leipzig forbade the use of "figural music" after the First Sunday of Advent until Christmas. So there are not too many cantatas for this period of the year.

As I said yesterday, Gardiner 1 (Archiv) performs my favorite version of the cantata Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61. Principally (but not only) because of the way how he manages the initial chorus (true core of this cantata: French overture plus German chorale), as a sort of vibrant announcement of the arriving of the Lion of Judah, the young king, the liberator. Exactly the opposite way chosen by Koopman, who is pompous, solemn and slow. As the announcement of the arrival of a fat and tired king.



Gardiner 2 (SDG) is not remotely as good as his first try, starting with the lineup; particularly Anthony Rolfe Johnson, way better than Jan Kobow.

Closely after Gardiner 1, I like Harnoncourt (Teldec Edition, if you accept the young soprano), then Herreweghe and Suzuki. After them: Richter and Koopman.

Some additional recommendation, dear fellows?  :)
Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different.
-- Penny Lane, Almost Famous (2000)

Offline Gordo

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2013, 07:23:40 AM »
Tempus Festorum: Medieval music for the Nativity Season
Ensemble Anonymus
Bernatchez, Claude



http://www.analekta.com/en/album/?ensemble-anonymus-tempus-festorum-medieval-music-for-the-nativity-season.1365.html#

It includes these interesting notes:

Quote
The medieval calendar was well provided with a series of major religious feasts and the Christmas season, which brought a little warmth to the cold of winter, was especially well suited to celebration. As falling leaves, low temperatures and snow slowed many daily activities, peasants and townsfolk prepared to celebrate the birth of Jesus with the coming of the winter solstice. In a feudal society marked by the domination of the strongest and strict religious morals, in which war, crusades, and outbreaks of the plague and other epidemics were common occurrences, the Christmas tempus festorum was eagerly awaited, bringing as it did a message of redemption and new life.

[...]

The period between December 6 and Epiphany was, in the words of musicologist Pierre Aubry, the "annual time for rejoicing”1. The first feast of Advent was that of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myre (died 325), the patron saint of sailors and also of children. His relics had been brought from Asia Minor to Bari, in southern Italy, in 1087, and he was venerated throughout Europe as the medieval ancestor of Santa Claus. Many liturgical dramas and polyphonic motets were composed in his honour, including the joyful three-part Psallat chorus attributed to Franco of Cologne that appears in several 13th-century manuscripts.

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which fell on December 8, inspired music that was either contemplative (Angelus ad Virginem) or richly ornamented (Dum sigillum summi patris), recalling the cult of the Virgin that was of particular importance betwen the twelfth and the fifteenth centuries. Christmas was a time of religious wonder and fervour, but also of popular rejoicing, and fiddles, hurdy-gurdies, bagpipes and flutes were all put to good use by the peasantry, as can be seen in the miniatures painstakingly illuminated by medieval monks and artists. Beginning in the 11th century, the shepherds guided by the Angel to the manger became the basis for sung dialogues and stage settings. These liturgical dramas were intended to "fortify the faith of the ignorant multitude and novices”, as the Englishman Saint Ethelwold, a Benedictine monk, wrote around 965.

On Christmas Day itself, however, prayers were replaced by euphoria as the so-called "Feast of Fools” began, lasting in some places for over a week. It included Saint Stephen's Day (December 26), Holy Innocents' Day (December 28) and New Year's Day, despite its being the Feast of the Circumcision. In a manner reminiscent of the Saturnalia, nobles and paupers changed roles, the Mass was parodied in Church, and dancing was continued to the point of exhaustion. On December 28 children took their revenge for the Slaughter of the Innocents ordered by Herod by celebrating Mass in church, followed by the Feast of the "Boy Bishop”.

In Beauvais and Sens, as ordained in the early 13th-century ritual of Pierre de Corbeil, Bishop of Sens, the donkey used for the Flight into Egypt appeared in church between Christmas and the New Year, to the delight of the congregation. Musicians took advantage of these extraordinary services to produce parodies of such venerable works as the Kyrie Cunctipotens, a masterpiece of the medieval repertory, or to insert vigorous calls of "Hez, Sire asne, Hez!” into a delicate Marial chant (Concordi lætitia) endowed, for the occasion, with new words (Orientis partibus). Despite the prohibition of these somewhat strange practices by the Bishop of Paris, Odon de Sully, in 1198, it was only after the Councils of Basle (1431) and Toledo (1473) that such outpourings of joy bordering on obscenity finally disappeared: "The Church (…) must be purged of these shameful things”. It was therefore forbidden, in church, to introduce "larva and monsters, and to put on plays, (…) to shout, sing in verse, and use derisive language that disturbs the service and turns the spirit of the people away from piety”.

Using period manuscripts and traditionally-based improvisations, the members of Anonymus have, in this recording, attempted to recreate the unbridled, yet pious atmosphere of the medieval festive season.
-- Irène Brisson, Music History and Art History professor at the Québec Conservatory
Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different.
-- Penny Lane, Almost Famous (2000)

Offline HIPster

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2013, 05:48:42 PM »
These days I have been listening to several versions of Bach's cantatas for Advent. As you probably know, liturgical tradition in Leipzig forbade the use of "figural music" after the First Sunday of Advent until Christmas. So there are not too many cantatas for this period of the year.

As I said yesterday, Gardiner 1 (Archiv) performs my favorite version of the cantata Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61. Principally (but not only) because of the way how he manages the initial chorus (true core of this cantata: French overture plus German chorale), as a sort of vibrant announcement of the arriving of the Lion of Judah, the young king, the liberator. Exactly the opposite way chosen by Koopman, who is pompous, solemn and slow. As the announcement of the arrival of a fat and tired king.



Gardiner 2 (SDG) is not remotely as good as his first try, starting with the lineup; particularly Anthony Rolfe Johnson, way better than Jan Kobow.

Closely after Gardiner 1, I like Harnoncourt (Teldec Edition, if you accept the young soprano), then Herreweghe and Suzuki. After them: Richter and Koopman.

Some additional recommendation, dear fellows?  :)

Thank you for the extremely informative post, Gordo.   ;)

I am unfamiliar with this Gardiner (1) - and (2) for that matter - but am curious to check it out after reading this. . .

In answer to your call for recommendations, I submit this one from Milnes and Montreal Baroque:


Offline Gordo

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2013, 07:34:44 PM »
In answer to your call for recommendations, I submit this one from Milnes and Montreal Baroque:



I can listen to this via NML. Thanks for this recommendation!  :)

Today I found this new release of one of my favorite Baroque ensembles:



 8)

 
Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different.
-- Penny Lane, Almost Famous (2000)

Offline Jeffrey Smith

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Re: Music for Advent and Christmas
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2013, 09:30:55 AM »
Completely forgot about this one when I posted suggestions the other day


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