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Bach: Epiphany Mass / McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort & Players


Release Date: 10/12/1999 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 457631   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachAnonymousJohann PachelbelMichael Praetorius
Performer:  James JohnstoneTimothy RobertsPeter HarveyAngus Davidson,   ... 
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli ConsortGabrieli PlayersDresden Cathedral Choir,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 40 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Of all the liturgical reconstructions that Paul McCreesh has been offering over the past decade, this is easily the most elaborate. It's astonishing to think that Bach's parish church would have celebrated Epiphany (the 12th day of Christmas, January 6, usually a weekday) as elaborately as this program, and it's fascinating to think of the congregation of the Thomanerkirche anticipating the event around 1740. The entire service is included in the recording, much like the Catholic Masses on record that include the celebrant's prayers and Preface before the Sanctus (chanted in Latin even here), the Scripture chanting (in German here, of course), and all the odd versicles. The sermon is only six minutes long, just a hint of a longer discourse Read more (it would have been at least an hour long, according to the notes). A Missa brevis (Kyrie and Gloria) and a Sanctus from Bach's Lutheran Masses are included, and there are also not one but two cantatas, one after the Gospel (chosen for the feast day) and one after Communion (chosen for that aspect of the service). Organ preludes and other pieces are sprinkled liberally throughout the service. No fewer than eight hymns are sung by the congregation, most of them introduced by the appropriate prelude. Some are a cappella, some are accompanied, and some have improvised interline organ interludes, an established practice of the time. The recording was made in two different churches of Saxony, involving the congregational choirs of both in the hymn singing. The whole is contained on two discs, each packed to the last second of capacity.

The singing and playing (including the local choirs) are on the highest level of excellence. The most novel aspect of the performances is the Epiphany cantata, where the pair of horns play in C alto (trumpet pitch), lending a brilliance to the music that is heard (McCreesh thinks) for the first time ever. A Hieronymus Bosch Epiphany adorns the booklet cover. This is an important issue, ranking with the best of McCreesh's admirable series of recordings.

-- J. F. Weber, FANFARE [3/2000]


This CD includes a 49 sec track recording of church bells and the following spoken word tracks:
Salutation "Gnade sei mit euch" & Sermon "Lesung aus dem Heiligen Evangelisten Matthäo," spoken by Andreas Vogt.

Selections recorded at Parish Church, Brand-Erbisdorf, Germany and Cathedral, Freiberg, Germany. Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Orgelbüchlein: Puer natus in Bethlehem, BWV 603 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  James Johnstone (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 1 Minutes 5 Secs. 
2. Puer natus in Bethlehem by Anonymous
Performer:  Timothy Roberts (Harpsichord), James Johnstone (Organ)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: German 
3. Fantasia for Organ in E flat major by Johann Pachelbel
Performer:  James Johnstone (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
4. Missa brevis in F major, BWV 233 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Harvey (Bass), Angus Davidson (Countertenor), Ann Monoyios (Soprano)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort,  Gabrieli Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1735; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 24 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
5. Dominus vobiscum - Deus illuminator by Anonymous
Performer:  Julian Podger (Tenor), James O'Donnell (Organ)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 1 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
6. Epistle "So schreibt der Prophet Jesaja" by Anonymous
Performer:  Matthias Fischer (Voice)
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
7. Orgelbüchlein: Christum wir sollen loben schon, BWV 611 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  James O'Donnell (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 2 Minutes 4 Secs. 
8. Der Herr sei mit euch - Da Jesus geboren war by Anonymous
Performer:  Julian Podger (Tenor), James O'Donnell (Organ)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 3 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: German 
9. Toccata and Fugue for Organ in B flat major by Johann Pachelbel
Performer:  James Johnstone (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
10. Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen, BWV 65 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Charles Daniels (Tenor), Peter Harvey (Bass)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort,  Gabrieli Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 14 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: German 
11. Wir glauben all'an einen Gott, BWV 437 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Cathedral Choir,  Freiburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: ?Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 5 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Language: German 
12. Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich, BWV 719 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  James O'Donnell (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 1 Minutes 21 Secs. 
13. Ein Kindelein so Löbelich by Anonymous
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Cathedral Choir,  Freiburg Cathedral Choir
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 1 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: German 
14. Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 657 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  James O'Donnell (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 4 Minutes 44 Secs. 
15. Was soll ich, liebstes Kind by Anonymous
Performer:  James Johnstone (Organ)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Cathedral Choir,  Freiburg Cathedral Choir
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 6 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: German 
16. Prelude in C major, BWV 567 [now known to be by J. L. Krebs] by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  James O'Donnell (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1781 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 1 Minutes 19 Secs. 
17. Dominus vobiscum - Vere dignum et justum est by Anonymous
Performer:  Julian Podger (Tenor), James O'Donnell (Organ)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
18. Sanctus in D major, BWV 238 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Harvey (Bass), Ann Monoyios (Soprano), Angus Davidson (Countertenor),
Charles Daniels (Tenor)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723-1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
19. The Lord's Prayer by Anonymous
Performer:  Julian Podger (Tenor)
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 2 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection shares a track and timing with "Words of Institution." 
20. Words of Institution by Anonymous
Performer:  Julian Podger (Tenor)
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection shares a track and timing with "The Lord's Prayer." 
21. Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  James Johnstone (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 7 Minutes 58 Secs. 
22. Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, lass die dunkle Sünden höhle, komm an's helle Licht gegangen, BWV 180 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Harvey (Bass), Charles Daniels (Tenor), Angus Davidson (Countertenor),
Ann Monoyios (Soprano)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort,  Gabrieli Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 19 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: German 
23. Nun freut euch, lieben Christen, BWV 734 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  James O'Donnell (Organ)
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
24. Nun freut euch, lieben Christen, g'mein, BWV 388 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Cathedral Choir,  Freiburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: German 
25. Orgelbüchlein: Christe, du Lamm Gottes, BWV 619 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  James O'Donnell (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1714-1715; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 0 Minutes 59 Secs. 
26. Lasset uns beten - Allmächtiger Herr Gott by Anonymous
Performer:  Julian Podger (Tenor)
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection shares a track and timing with "Der Herr segne dich und behüte dich" & "Gott sei uns gnädig, BWV 323." 
27. Der Herr segne dich und behüte dich by Anonymous
Performer:  Julian Podger (Tenor)
Period: Medieval 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection shares a track and timing with "Lasset uns beten - Allmächtiger Herr Gott" & "Gott sei uns gnädig, BWV 323." 
28. Gott sei uns gnädig, BWV 323 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Julian Podger (Tenor), James Johnstone (Organ)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Language: German 
Notes: This selection shares a track and timing with "Der Herr segne dich und behüte dich" & "Lasset uns benet - Allmächtiger Herr Gott." 
29. Vom Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her, BWV 738 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  James Johnstone (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1718; ?Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 1 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: German 
30. Magnificat in E flat major, BWV 243a: Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Julian Podger (Tenor), James Johnstone (Organ)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 10 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: German 
31. Fantasie in G major, BWV 572 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  James O'Donnell (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1706; Arnstadt, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 8 Minutes 22 Secs. 
32. Kyrie in F major, BWV 233a "Christe du Lamm Gottes" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Cathedral Choir,  Freiburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1735; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
33. Was fürcht'st du, Feind Herodes, sehr by Michael Praetorius
Performer:  James Johnstone (Organ)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Cathedral Choir,  Freiburg Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1609; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Length: 6 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: German 

Sound Samples

Church Bells
Puer natus in Bethlehem, BWV603
Puer Natus in Bethlehem (Benedictine Processional,14th C.)
Fantasia in E flat major
Mass in F major, BWV 233: 1. Kyrie
Mass in F major, BWV 233: 2. Gloria in excelcis
Mass in F major, BWV 233: 3. Domine Deus
Mass in F major, BWV 233: 4. Qui tollis peccata
Mass in F major, BWV 233: 5. Quoniam tu solus sanctus
Mass in F major, BWV 233: 6. Cum sancto Spiritu
Salutation and Response: "Dominus vobiscum - Deus illuminator"
Epistle: So schreibt der Prophet Jesaja
Christum wir sollen loben schon, BWV611
Gradual hymn: Was fürcht'st du, Feind Herodes, sehr
Gospel: Der Herr sei mit euch - Da Jesus geboren war
Toccata in B flat major
Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen Cantata, BWV 65: 1. Coro: Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen
Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen Cantata, BWV 65: 2. Choral: Die Könige aus Saba kamen dar
Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen Cantata, BWV 65: 3. Recitativo: Was dort Jesaias vorhergesehn
Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen Cantata, BWV 65: 4. Aria: Gold und Ophir ist zu schlecht
Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen Cantata, BWV 65: 5. Recitativo: Verschmähe nicht, du, meiner Seelen Licht
Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen Cantata, BWV 65: 6. Aria: Nimm mich dir zu eigen hin
Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen Cantata, BWV 65: 7. Choral: Ei nun, mein Gott, so fall ich dir getrost
Credal hymn: Wir glauben all an einen Gott
Salutation: Gnade sei mit euch
Der Tag ist so freudenreich, BWV 719
Pulpit hymn: Ein Kindelein so löblich
Sermon: Lesung aus dem Heiligen Evangelisten Matthäo
Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 657
Hymn of the day: Was soll ich liebstes Kind
Prelude in C, BWV 567
Preface for Epiphany
Sanctus in D major, BWV 238
The Lord's Prayer: Vater unser / Unser Herr Jesus Christ
Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654
Cantata, BWV 180 "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele": 1. Chorus: Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele
Cantata, BWV 180 "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele": 2. Aria: Ermuntre dich, dein Heiland klopft
Cantata, BWV 180 "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele": 3. Recitative and Chorale:Wie teuer sind des heiligen Mahles Gaben
Cantata, BWV 180 "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele": 4. Recitative: Mein Herz fühlt in sich Furcht und Freude
Cantata, BWV 180 "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele": 5. Aria: Lebens Sonne, Licht der Sinnen
Cantata, BWV 180 "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele": 6. Recitative: Herr, laß an mir dein treues Lieben
Cantata, BWV 180 "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele": 7. Chorale: Jesu, wahres Brot des Lebens
Nun freut euch, liebe Christen g'mein, BWV 734
Hymn: Nun freut euch, liebe Christen g'mein
Christe, du Lamm Gottes, BWV619
Hymn: Christe, du Lamm Gottes
Response: Gott sei uns gnädig BWV 323
Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her, BWV 738
Vom Himmel hoch, o Englein kommt (Kölner Gesangbuch 1625)
Fantasia in G, BWV 572

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