Posts Tagged ‘ Epiphany ’

Epiphany Cantata: Johann Philipp Krieger (1649-1725) – O Jesu, du mein Leben

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January 10, 2015

Mantegna adoration

Johann Philipp Krieger (1649-1725) was one of the outstanding German composers of his time he wrote both secular and religious music particularly church cantatas, of which he wrote over 2000 nearly all of which alas are now lost. He wound up as the music master at the court at Weissenfels which under his direction rapidly became known as a centre of excellence of German music. He started his musical career as a child studying under first under Johann Drechsel and then Gabriel Schütz. Aged 14 he went to Copenhagen studying organ and composition under Johannes Schröder who at the time was royal Danish organist he also studied composition under Kaspar Förster. He was offered a post at Christiania (Oslo) but turned it down preferring instead to take up a post at Nuremburg. He was poached from there by the Margrave Christian Ernst and worked at Bayreuth until the Margrave left in 1673 to join the war against France. As there is little call for organists on battlefields Krieger travelled to Italy and studied there for two years on full pay. On his return to Austria he played for the Emperor Leopold I in Vienna who was so impressed that he ennobled him and all his siblings. Krieger then travelled to the court at Halle to take up a post as Kapellmeister a position he held for the rest of his life. He was a prolific composer both of secular and religious music and, as mentioned above, composed over 2000 cantatas. Only 76 of these survive which is a pity because it was Krieger who had the idea of writing cantatas in the Italian style using recitatives and arias, to which biblical verses and chorale stanzas were later added. In short Krieger was the father of the "New Cantata". Buxtehude and Pachelbel both owe him a considerable musical debt and through Buxtehude so does Bach. O Jesu, du mein Leben which was written for Epiphany is very typical of Krieger's cantatas with its clear melodic structure and simple harmonies and rhythms it's also very Germanic in its use of violin and bass viol instrumental passages to divide the composition into several parts. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Epiphany Carol — We Three Kings Of Orient Are — Choir of King’s College, Cambridge

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January 6, 2015

Christmastide traditionally ends today on the Feast of The Epiphany – the visit and adoration of the Infant Jesus by the Three Magi. The famous American carol "We three Kings of Orient are"  was written in 1857 by Rev. John Henry Hopkins to celebrate this feast. It's a lovely piece that most often is sung as a Christmas carol such as in the performance below by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge during the 2009 "Carols from Kings" broadcast. I've put the lyrics below the video. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Jacob Handl (1550–1591): Omnes de Saba venient

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January 7, 2014

Jacob Handl 150x175Handl's 'Omnes de Saba venient' is a wonderfully cheerful Epiphany motet that get's downrght playful at times.  I especially like the rising and falling figure in the 'Alleluia' and the rythmic movement at 'de Saba venient' Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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William Byrd (±1539-1623) — Vidimus stellam ejus in Oriente a4

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January 4, 2014

Vidimus stellam ejus in Oriente, et venimus cum muneribus adorare Dominum.
(Matthew 2:2)

For we have seen his star in the East, and are come to adore him.

The Cardinall's Musick, conducted by Andrew Carwood singing Byrd's Communion motet for Mass on the Feast of the Epiphany. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Epiphany Carol: We Three Kings Of Orient Are — Choir of Kings College, Cambridge

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January 3, 2014

A carol for Epiphany, The choir of Kings College, Cambridge sing We Three Kings Of Orient Are during Carols From Kings 2009.

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