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For All Tastes

Christmas music
from Germany,
appreciated by

cpo    777 238-2

Weihnachten in Bremer Dom. Kamer Sinfonie Bremen / Wolfgang Helbich. © 2006 cpo/Radio Bremen

A wide ranging collection of Christmas music recorded last summer in St Petri Cathedral, Bremen, from a Gregorian hymn, the late 16th century Johann Eccard's collections of Holy Songs, Johann Schein, Michael Praetorius (Es ist ein Ros entsprungen) and Bach to Max Reger, Hermann Schroeder and Wolfgang Helbich himself. There is music for solo voices with organ and instrumental accompaniment as well as some fine choral singing with orchestra, and a capella singing like the anonymous O sanctissima from Sicily, in Helbich's arrangement [listen -- track 26, 0:00-0:33].

From Johann Crüger's 1649 Leipzig collection of church songs there are two pieces for choir and orchestra: How should I greet you and My heart should leap for joy [listen -- track 13, 0:58-1:30].

Hermann Schroeder died in 1984, a distinguished organist and composer of Catholic church music distantly related to Beethoven. From his huge output of choral music is included two of the Christmas songs, delightful canonic duets [listen -- track 19, 0:00-0:21], and Helbich's own contributions include a short piece for children's voices and three carols, including the delightfully gentle Still, still, still [listen -- track 22, 0:00-1:12] in addition to various arrangements.

The singing is impeccable, and the quality of recording is superb, offering seasonal music for all tastes -- even Stille Nacht in its original form with two excellent solo voices and guitar [listen -- track 27, 0:00-1:02].

Copyright © 13 December 2007 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK


Weihnachten im Bremer Dom

777 238-2 DDD Stereo FIRST RELEASE 59'13" 2006 cpo

Dorothee Mields, soprano; Waltraud Hoffmann-Mucher, contralto; Matthias Gerchen, bass; Tim Fischer, guitar; Beate Röllecke, organ continuo; Wolfgang Baumgratz, organ; Mädchenchor der Bremer Domsingschule; Bremer Domchor; Kammer Sinfonie Bremen; Immanuel Willmann, leader; Wolfgang Helbich, conductor

Veni Redemptor gentium (Gregorian hymn from the Klosterneuburg Hymnal); arr Vincent Novello (1781-1861): Adeste fideles; Johann Eccard (1553-1611): Übers Gebirg Maria geht; Johann Crüger (1598-1662): Wie soll ich dich empfangen; Wolfgang Helbich (melody: Johannes Petzold, 1939): Die Nacht ist vorgedrungen; Wolfgang Helbich: O Heiland, reiss die Himmel auf; Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): O Jesulein süss; Michael Praetorius (1571-1621): Es ist ein Ros entsprungen; Johann Eccard: Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her; Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630): Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ; Johann Eccard: In dulci jubilo; J S Bach: Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier; Johann Crüger: Fröhlich soll mein Herze springen; Max Reger (1873-1916): Uns ist geboren ein Kindelein; Max Reger: Mariä Wiegenlied; Max Reger: Kommt und lasst uns Christum ehren; Wolfgang Helbich: Freu dich, Erd und Sternenzelt; Wilhelm Friedrich Riem (1779-1857): Ehre sei Gott; Hermann Schroeder (1904-1984): Lieb Nachtigall, wach auf! (Sechs Weinachtslieder); Engel haben Himmelslieder; Kindelein zart; Wolfgang Helbich: Still, still, still; Es wird schon gleich dunkel (from the Tyrol); August von Othegraven (1864-1946): Vom Himmel hoch, ihr Englein kommt; Joseph Schnabel (1767-1831): Transeamus; anon/Helbich: O sanctissima; Franz Gruber (1787-1863): Stille Nacht


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