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Michael Praetorius: Ostermesse / Cordes, Weser Renaissance

Praetorius / Weser-renaissance Bremen / Cordes
Release Date: 04/24/2012 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 999953   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Michael Praetorius
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



PRAETORIUS Ostermesse Manfred Cordes, dir; Weser-Renaisssance Bremen CPO 999 953-2 (68:20 Text and Translation)


Michael Praetorius (1571–1621) is the most familiar of several composers by that name, all contemporary but not all related. Hieronymus and Jacob have also found their place in this magazine, but a disc of Johann’s organ music on CPO didn’t get a review. What passes for a biography of the composer is folded within a detailed account of educational changes after the Read more Reformation abolished the monastic and cathedral schools. Luther’s colleague Philipp Melanchthon was concerned with restructuring the school system, and his decisions were incorporated into the church constitution formulated by Johannes Bugenhagen, another close colleague. The 1569 expansion of this document for Braunschweig-Lüneburg is so detailed that the whole celebration of Easter Mass can be reconstructed using its description. Apart from showing that Praetorius received an excellent education, the narrative explains how the present program was put together. The dense note is fluently translated except for calling Victimae paschali laudes “one of the less enduring sequences” (the German says “one of the few remaining sequences,” just the opposite).


Cordes has chosen music to fit the requirements of the constitution from a variety of works by Praetorius. The Credo is sung, as prescribed, in chant, though the rendition is almost unrecognizable as Credo I, but the preface (before the Sanctus) is typical of the more elaborate tones found in old sources. The liturgical mix of Latin and German was common, and Missae breves were still being composed in Latin much later by Bach and others. Fittingly for a major feast of the church year, many of the works are set for eight, nine, or 10 voices, and the postludium is a motet for 12 voices from Musae Sioniae . Cordes uses seven singers and 10 players for a fine evocation of Lutheran liturgy in northern Germany almost a century after the Reformation. This is a gratifying program in both conception and execution.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1. Ostermesse by Michael Praetorius
Conductor:  Manfred Cordes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Weser Renaissance
Period: Baroque 

Sound Samples

Musae Sioniae, Vol. 10: Venite exultemus Domino [Introitus]
Missodia Sionia: Kyrie
Missodia Sionia: Gloria
Gruss, Kollekte, Epistel
Musae Sioniae, Vol. 10: Victimae paschali laudes [Sequenz]
Musae Sioniae, Volume 2: Erstanden ist der helige Christ [Evangelium]
Credo
Musae Sioniae, Volume 2: Christ ist erstanden
Hymnodia Sionia: Vita sanctorum [Hymnus]
Praefatio
Missodia Sionia: Sanctus, Benedictus
Vater unser, Einsetzungsworte
Missodia Sionia: Agnus Dei [Agnus Dei]
Musae Sioniae, Volume 2: Jesus Christus, unser Heiland [Sub communione]
Kollekte, Segen
Musae Sioniae, Vol. 10: Haec edt dies quam fecit Dominus [Postludium]

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