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Himlische Cantorey|Music Of The Reformation: 5 Chorales As Arranged by Luther, Othemayr and Walter

Music Of The Reformation: 5 Chorales As Arranged by Luther, Othemayr and Walter

Martin Luther - Johann Walter - Kaspar Othmayr

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We know mainly of Martin Luther as the monk who, in 1517, tacked up his 95 Theses to the front door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg and touched off the Protestant Reformation, an event that would change the course of European history and world religion forever. Lesser known is Luther's contribution to music, which on a strictly personal level was rather limited, but in its extended forms was gigantic. New faiths require new music, and Luther certainly was not interested in adopting the Latin, chant-based heritage of the Roman church to carry over into his German-language services. Extensively trained in music and a strong devotee to the music of Josquin, it wasn't until 1523 that Luther began to turn his attention to devising music appropriate for use in the first protestant churches. Luther's dictum seems to have been "keep it simple, stupid" -- composing or adapting gracious, folk-like melodies set to German texts derived from biblical passages. These, and similar hymns by others under Luther's watch, began appearing in a growing number of publications that were appearing at a feverish pitch by the time Luther died in 1546. The legacy of this enormous bulk of hymn melodies continued to inform North German protestant composers for centuries afterward, most notably Johann Sebastian Bach. In their Music of the Reformation, the German period performance vocal group Himlische Cantorey has discovered that, in addition to the early, monophonic hymns that bear the name of Luther or his direct assistants, there are a number of contemporary polyphonic arrangements styled like motets in the manner of the Josquin. Luther's own pieces are performed in unison, but elaborations by composers closely associated with Luther, Johann Walter, and Caspar Othmayr are heard in the balance. These are all deeply moving and beautiful settings and Himlische Cantorey does its best in keeping the treatments simple -- there is no more than a lute and small organ accompaniment in use for the whole disc. It is fascinating to hear how close early Lutheran sacred music is to the popular music of this era, having shaken loose the shackles of chant and its modal rhythm. One exception is Luther's setting of "Durch Adam's Fall," which despite his preference for avoiding the influence of the Roman church, still carries a faint echo of the sound of chant. Himlische Cantorey's Music of the Reformation represents the modest hut on which the Bachs, Schütz, and the Lutheran organ school built their massive edifices. Enthusiasts of middle-Renaissance music will find the bare bones approach to polyphony of Walter and Othmayr refreshing, and listeners coming to Music of the Reformation for added insight to the early beginnings of Protestantism will find far more in this than mere historical value.
© TiVo

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Music Of The Reformation: 5 Chorales As Arranged by Luther, Othemayr and Walter

Himlische Cantorey

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Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist (Martin Luther)

1
Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist
00:00:50

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist a 5 (Johann Walter)

2
Du wertes Licht, gib uns deinen Schein
00:01:46

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

3
Du susse Lieb, schenk uns deine Gunst
00:01:43

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

4
Du hochster Troster in aller Not
00:01:49

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Ein feste Burg a 4 (Kaspar Othmayr)

5
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
00:02:17

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Ein feste Burg (Kaspar Othmayr)

6
Mit unsrer Macht
00:01:00

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Ein feste Burg a 4 (Kaspar Othmayr)

7
Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel
00:02:28

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Der christliche Glaud (Johann Walter)

8
In Gott glaub ich
00:03:03

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Verba Lutheri ultima, "Mein himmlischer Vater" (Kaspar Othmayr)

9
Verba Lutheri ultima, "Mein himmlischer Vater"
00:04:41

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Mitten wir im Leben sind (Johann Walter)

10
Mitten wir im Leben sind
00:01:31

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

11
Mitten in dem Tod
00:01:54

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Mitten wir im Leben sind a 5 (Johann Walter)

12
Mitten in der Hollen
00:03:12

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Per quem salvici (Kaspar Othmayr)

13
Per quem salvici
00:08:56

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Das Vater unser (Johann Walter)

14
Vater unser
00:02:43

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt

15
Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt
00:00:53

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Durch Adams Fall (Kaspar Othmayr)

16
Wie uns nun hat
00:01:20

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Durch Adams Fall a 5 (Johann Walter)

17
Ich bitt' o Herr
00:02:23

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin

18
Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin
00:00:43

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Mit Fried und Freud (Kaspar Othmayr)

19
Das macht Christus
00:00:57

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Mit Fried und Freud a 4 (Johann Walter)

20
Hier ist das Heil
00:01:06

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Verleih uns Frieden a 4 (Johann Walter)

21
Verleih und Frieden
00:01:43

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

22
Verleih uns Frieden
00:01:53

Himlische Cantorey, Choir

(C) 2007 CPO (P) 2007 CPO

Album Description

We know mainly of Martin Luther as the monk who, in 1517, tacked up his 95 Theses to the front door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg and touched off the Protestant Reformation, an event that would change the course of European history and world religion forever. Lesser known is Luther's contribution to music, which on a strictly personal level was rather limited, but in its extended forms was gigantic. New faiths require new music, and Luther certainly was not interested in adopting the Latin, chant-based heritage of the Roman church to carry over into his German-language services. Extensively trained in music and a strong devotee to the music of Josquin, it wasn't until 1523 that Luther began to turn his attention to devising music appropriate for use in the first protestant churches. Luther's dictum seems to have been "keep it simple, stupid" -- composing or adapting gracious, folk-like melodies set to German texts derived from biblical passages. These, and similar hymns by others under Luther's watch, began appearing in a growing number of publications that were appearing at a feverish pitch by the time Luther died in 1546. The legacy of this enormous bulk of hymn melodies continued to inform North German protestant composers for centuries afterward, most notably Johann Sebastian Bach. In their Music of the Reformation, the German period performance vocal group Himlische Cantorey has discovered that, in addition to the early, monophonic hymns that bear the name of Luther or his direct assistants, there are a number of contemporary polyphonic arrangements styled like motets in the manner of the Josquin. Luther's own pieces are performed in unison, but elaborations by composers closely associated with Luther, Johann Walter, and Caspar Othmayr are heard in the balance. These are all deeply moving and beautiful settings and Himlische Cantorey does its best in keeping the treatments simple -- there is no more than a lute and small organ accompaniment in use for the whole disc. It is fascinating to hear how close early Lutheran sacred music is to the popular music of this era, having shaken loose the shackles of chant and its modal rhythm. One exception is Luther's setting of "Durch Adam's Fall," which despite his preference for avoiding the influence of the Roman church, still carries a faint echo of the sound of chant. Himlische Cantorey's Music of the Reformation represents the modest hut on which the Bachs, Schütz, and the Lutheran organ school built their massive edifices. Enthusiasts of middle-Renaissance music will find the bare bones approach to polyphony of Walter and Othmayr refreshing, and listeners coming to Music of the Reformation for added insight to the early beginnings of Protestantism will find far more in this than mere historical value.
© TiVo

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