Notes and Editorial Reviews
CHRISTMAS CONCERTOS AND CANTATAS
Simon Standage, cond; Susan Gritton (sop);
Collegium Musicum 90 (period instruments)
Text and Translation)
O di Betlemme altera povertà,
In dulci jubilo.
Violin Concerto in E,
“Il riposo—per il natale”
These Baroque concertos and cantatas are all associated with Christmas, although some only marginally. The Scarlatti and Telemann cantatas were written for Christmas. The Manfredini and Corelli concertos probably received their associations with Christmas because each contains a
movement, shepherds’ music in 12/8 time that Italian folk tradition associated with Christmas (the “Pifa” from Handel’s
is another example). The Vivaldi concerto, one of his typical string concertos, seems to have received its seasonal connection from Vivaldi’s practice of programming it at Christmas time.
All of this music is delightful to hear. Many of
’s readers will probably have one or more of these works already, especially the concertos. The two cantatas are less often encountered, especially the Telemann, from the first movement of which we get the English carol
Good Christian Men Rejoice
. The playing and singing are excellent in all respects. Susan Gritton makes a major contribution in the solos of the Scarlatti cantata. Members of Collegium 90’s choir are equally good as soloists in the Telemann. Presiding over all, Simon Standage directs lively performances that respect the score and never stray into extremes of tempo.
This collection was issued 10 years ago under the title “Per la notte di natale.” In this reissue, Chandos provides full notes along with texts and translations, for which I commend them. Anyone looking for an enjoyable collection of Baroque music associated with Christmas need look no further.
FANFARE: Ron Salemi
Works on This Recording
In dulci Jubilo by Georg Philipp Telemann
Collegium Musicum 90
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