Notes and Editorial Reviews
Schütz’s ‘Christmas story’ is an absolute delight from beginning to end, its charming tableaux of angels, shepherds and wise men completely belying the composer’s old age and constrained circumstances. Here it’s the jubilant climax to a programme of Christmas motets from the 1640s.
The Christmas Story, a pseudo-dramatic retelling of the nativity narrative, was initially intended to be part of the vespers service of Christmas day. He employs no fewer than twelve voices, a large contingent of strings, and many wind instruments, all of which add to the color of the work. In addition, his recitatives are of the Italian operatic style that adds to the drama. My favorite recording to this point has been the 30-year-old Andrew Parrott on EMI with Emma Kirkby and Nigel Rogers. I must admit that the solo singing is more stylish on that release than here, where the solos are taken by members of the Yale Schola, though they are very good. But the spirit, enthusiasm, and sound are far superior in this new release, showing that David Hill has brought much of the traditional English artistry to New Haven to excellent effect. This is a wonderful release.
– Audaud.com (Steven Ritter)