Hieronymus Praetorius (1560-1629): Gaudete omnes

As you might guess from its name ‘Gaudete omnes’ (All people, rejoice) is a cheerful and optimistic Christmas motet. Dating from 1599 it’s an example of Praetorius’ compositional virtuosity that mixes six-voice imitative polyphony with a madrigalian voice-exchange and homophonic writing. Enjoy :-). markfromireland

Feature: Mouton & Morales — Quæramus cum pastoribus

Mouton’s beautiful Christmastide motet ‘Quæramus cum pastoribus’ – the name comes from its first line ‘Quæramus cum pastoribus verbum incarnatum‘ (Let us, with the shepherds, seek the incarnate word) was a wildly popular piece of music that spread like wildfire throughout Catholic Christendom, there are copies of it to be found in churches and cathedrals…

Advent Antiphons 2013: O Radix Jesse

O Radix Jesse is the third of the Advent Antiphons, Chilcott’s setting in which the voices clamour for the Messiah to come is particularly effective to my mind. The Biblical texts that this antiphon references are; Isaiah 11:1, 10, Isaiah 52:15, and Romans 15:12. markfromireland

Heinrich Suso (ca. 1295-1366): In Dulci Jubilo

Henrich Suso (or Seuse) was a German Dominican monk and mystic and follower of Eckhart whose writings both in German and Latin translation were widely read throughout Germany during the second half of the fourteenth and in the fifteenth century. Nowadays he’s mostly remembered for his macaronic carol ‘In Dulci Jubilo’ the story goes that…

Arvo Pärt (b1935): Christmas Lullaby

This enchanting Christmas Lullaby was one of two commissioned by Jordi Savall for his Ensemble Hesperion XXI, Pärt wrote them in 2002 and later arranged them for female choir and string orchestra. It’s sung in Russian below by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir accompanied by the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra the conductor was Tõnu Kaljuste, text…