VCS*10045

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VANGUARD RECORDS

HEDY GRAF, soprano * DOROTHEA BRINKMANN, alto + KLAUS SCHMIDT, tenor

WILHELM POMMERIEN, bass + FREIBURG STUDENT CHOIR - INSTRUMENTALISTS * KLAUS ae conductor

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ART / ERIC VON SCHMIDT

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Hedy Graf, soprano Dorothea Brinkmann, alto ®

| Freiburg Student Choir, Instrumentalists « 3

No church festival aroused the artistic imagination of the Baroque era more than that of the birth of Christ, as seen in the variety and volume of the music that has come down to us. Its mood ranges from majestic and powerful glorification of the King of Heaven to humble astonishment at the adoration of the Child in the poor manger.

Assembled here are five outstandingly beautiful Christmas church cantatas by composers some of whom have been lost to modern music lovers in the shadow cast by the great figure of Johann Sebastian Bach. But Bach’s art was the culmination of a rich musical development, and the works presented here offer a moving and enlightening picture of the gradual formation of the rich and variegated church cantata.

Baroque Christmas Cantatas

Klaus Schmidt, tenor Wilhelm Pommerien, bass

KLAUS KNALL, conductor

Ist Gott versöhnt und unser Freund, was kann uns tun der arge Feind? Trotz Teufel, Welt und Höllenpfort! Das Jesulein ist unser Hort.

Es bringst das rechte Jubeljahr. Was trauern wir dann immerdar? Frisch auf, es ist jetzt Singens Zeit: das Jesulein wendt alles Leid.

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Also Playable in Mono

If God is appeased and is our Friend—what can the evil enemy do to us? Despite the Devil, the world and the gates of Hell! Little Jesus is our refuge.

It brings the true year of jubilee. Then why should erieve any more? Up now, it is the time to sing; the Jesus Child takes sorrow away.

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1. PHILIPP HEINRICH ERLEBACH (1657-1714)

Siehe, ich verkundige, euch grosse Freude

SIDE ONE

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Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Four-voice Choir; two clarinets, bassoon, strings and continuo

Siehe, ich verkiindige euch grosse Freude, die allem Volke widerfahren wird, denn euch ist heute der Heiland geboren.

Dies ist der Tag, den der Herr gemachet hat.

O Botschaft des Lebens, o freudige Kunde, ich denke der Weihnacht und preise die Stunde: mein Heiland ist heute vom Himmel gestiegen, die Sünde zu tragen, den Tod zu besiegen!

Lasset uns freuen und fröhlich darinnen sein!

O Herr, meine Freude, ich will dich erheben, du schenkst mir ein neues vollkommenes Leben, wirst arm mir zulieb ohne Freuden und Ehren, nun ist es mein Reichtum, dein Lob zu vermehren!

Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe und Friede auf Erden und den Menschen ein Wohlgefallen! Halleluja!

Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day a savior. |

This is the day which the Lord hath made.

Oh message of life, oh joyful tidings, I think of Christmas and honor the hour: this day my Savior has descended from heaven, to bear sin, to conquer

death! We will rejoice and be glad in it!

Oh Lord, my joy, I will exalt Thee, Thou givest me a new and perfect life, Thou becamest poor for my sake, joyless and without honor, now is it my wealth to enhance Tlıy praise!

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men! Hallelujah!

Erlebach was Kapellmeister at the court of Rudolstadt. His text combines Biblical verses with free poetry. Between the message of the angel and the song of praise of the heavenly host, from the Christmas eospel, are skillfully interwoven the two half-verses frim Psalm 118 and 24, sung by the chorus, and two

song-like arias glorifying the miracle of Christmas.

2. JOHANN RUDOLF AHLE (1625-1673)

Merk auf mein Herz

Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, Four-voice Choir; two violins and continuo

Merk auf, mein Herz, und sieh dorthin; was liegt doch in dem Krippelein? Wes ist das schöne Kindelein? Es ist das liebe Jesulein.

Ach Herr, du Schöpfer aller Ding, wie bist du worden so geringe, dass du da liegst auf dürrem Gras, davon ein Rind und Esel ass.

Un wär die Welt vielmal so weit, von Edelstein und Gold bereit’, so wär sie dir doch viel zu klein, zu sein ein enges Wiegelein.

Der Sammet und die Seiden dein, das ist grob Heu und Windelein; darauf du König so gross und reich herprangst, als wärs dein Himmelreich.

Willkommen sei, du edler Gast! Den Sünder nicht verschmähet hast, und kommst ins Elend her zu mir; wie soll ich immer danken dir?

Lob, Ehr sei Gott im höchsten Thron, der uns schenkt seinen eingen Sohn! Des freuen sich der Engel Schar und singen uns solch neues Jahr.

Take heed, my heart, and look yonder; who is it lying in the manger? Who is the pretty little babe? It is dear little Jesus.—

Oh Lord, Creator of all things, how hast Thou become so small, that there thou liest on dry grass, of which an ox and donkey ate.

Were all the world many times as wide, all full of cold and jewels, still would it be far too small for Thee, to be Thy cradle.

Thy silk and satin is coarse hay and swaddling clothes: thereon Thou King, so great and rich, dost rest as it were Thy Heavenly Kingdom.

Welcome, thou noble guest! Thou has not scorned the sinner, and comest to me in myMmisery; how can I ever thank Thee?

Praise and honor to God enthroned in the highest, Who gives us His own Son! For this the angel hosts rejoice and sing us in the New Year.

Ahle, who was organist at Mühlhausen, displays in lovely manner the folk and popular style of the time, and touches on the lowliness ‘of the Saviour’s birth. His text is wholly contained in the congregation chorale; namely, six verses from Luther’s “Children’s song for the birth of Christ,” Von Himmel hoch, da komm ich her (“From heaven on high, I come hither’). The freely-treated chorale tune is the basic material that binds all the sections. The melody keeps recurring in the concerted portions and finally, in a form ‘with which the hearer is now familiar, introduces the stanza “Lob, Ehr sei Gott im hochsten Thron.”

3. DIETRICH BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707)

Das neugeborne Kindelein Four-voice Choir; strings and continuo

Das neugeborne Kindelein, das herzeliebe Jesulein bringt abermal ein neues Jahr, der auserwählten Christenschar.

Des freuen sich die Engelein, die gerne um und bei uns sein und singen in den Liiften frei, dass Gott mit uns versöhnet. sei.

The newborn Child, dear Jesus Child, brings a new year once again to the troop of the Christian elect.

Thereat the angels rejoice, who love to be around and with us and sing out free in the air, that God is reconciled to us.

The story is well known of Bach’s 200 mile journey to Liibeck to hear and study the music of this great Danish composer. The text of this shapely choral aria is original poetry. There are four stanzas, each introduced by a string ritornello. The center and high point is the comforting message, “Tst Gott versohnt

und unser Freund—was kann uns tun der arge Feind!”

1. FRANZ TUNDER (1614-1667)

Hosianna dem Sohne David

SIDE TWO

Two sopranos, Bass, Five-Voice Choir; strings and continuo

Hosianna, dem Sohne David. Gelobet sei, der da kommt im Namen des Herren, Hosianna in der

Hohe.

Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Tunder, a pupil. of Frescobaldi, was Buxtehude’s predecessor as organist of the Lübeck Marienkirche. The text is a section from the Gospel for the first Sunday in Advent, depicting Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. As the rejoicing ee Hosanna chorus, solo voices emerge three times with the greeting, “Gelobt

sei, der da kommt in,

ämen des Herren”: first a powerful solo bass, then the soprano pleading, and after

this, penetrating and beseeching, the soprano gradually swelling into the full chorus, which finally sings the

Hosanna again.

2. GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (1681-1767) Lobt Gott, ihr Christen allzugleich

Soprano, Tenor, Bass, Two Four-Voice Choruses; five clarinets, drums, strings and continuo

Lobt Gott, ihr Christen allzugleich, in seinem höchsten Thron, der heut aufschleusst sein Himmelreich und schenkt uns seinen Sohn. Herr Gott, dich loben wir, Herr Gott, wir danken dir.

Ich preise dich mit frohem Herzen, du wahrer Gott, Herr Jesu Christ. Ich danke dir von Herzensgrunde, dass du ein Mensch geboren bist; ein Mensch wie andre Menschenkinder, jedoch von allen Sünden rein, damit durch dich verlorne Sünder gerecht und selig können sein. |

Was haben wir sonst darzubringen für solche Huld, für solchen Segen, womit uns Gott vom Himmel krönt, als dass ein dankbar Lied ertönt! O Jesu! Lass dirs doch gefällig sein, was unser armes Herze bringet und dir zum Lobe singet. Ihr Engel stimmt mit ein, wir wollen Jesum i zwei Chören, ihr euren Herrn, wir unsern Heiland ehren.

Amen, Lob und Ehre und Weisheit und Dank und Preis und Kraft und Stärke sei unserm Gott von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit. Amen.

Nun ich freue mich im Herrn, bis ich mich aufs neue mit den Engeln freue und im Himmel oben Jesum Christum loben. Ach, mein Heiland, ach, wie gern wollt ich heute scheiden und in jenen Freuden dich mit Augen sehen. Ach, wann wirds geschehen?

Heut schleusst er wieder auf die Tür zum schönen Paradeis, der Cherub steht nicht mehr dafür, Gott sei Lob, Ehr und Preis.

Praise God, ye Christians all together, in His throne in the highest, that this day openeth up His heavenly kinedom and gives us his son. Lord God, we praise thee, Lord God, we thank thee.

I glorify Thee with joyful heart, thou true God,

Lord Jesus Christ. I thank thee from the bottom of 2

my heart that Thou has been born a man; a man like other men, only free of all sin, that through Thee the lost sinners may be just and holy.

What else can we offer for such a grace, for suchs*,

blessing, with which God crowns us from Heaven,

than sing a song of thanks! O Jesus! may it please (*

Thee, what our poor hearts bring and sing in Thy praise. Ye angels, join in! We will honor Jesus in two choruses, you your Lord, we our Savior.

Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanks- eiving and honor, and power and might, be unto our: God for ever and ever. Amen.

Now I rejoice in the Lord, until I rejoice again

with the angels, and praise Jesus Christ in Heaven. 7

Ah, my Savior, ah, how gladly would I pass away today and see Thee with my eyes in those joys. Ah, when will it come to pass?

Today once more he opens up the door to the lovely Paradise; the cherub no longer stands guard there, praise, honor and glory be to God.

Telemann, contemporary of J. S. Bach and the most famous German composer of his time, wove into

the text of this cantata for double chorus Bible verses, t

he chorale, and original poetry. As with the cantatas

of Buxtehude and Erlebach, the design is symmetrical, The first and last stanzas of the well-known Christmas hymn of Nikolaus Hermann form the framework; second and fifth are the arias. In the center, the soprano

in recitative calls on angels and humans, “Ihr Engél,

stimmt mit ein! Wir wollen Jesum in zwei Choren, ihr

euren Herrn, wir unser Heiland ehren,” and a powerful double chorus follows.

This VANGUARD CARDINAL SERIES record is a newly initiated, “first edition’ recording of an outstanding performance of an important musical work. The series is fixed at the lowest price consonant with production accord- ing to the top standards of sound engineering and record manufacture and consonant with the encouragement of artistic initiative in recording for the enhancement of musical

VANGUARD RECORDING SOCIETY, INC., 71 W. 23rd ST., NEW YORK, N.Y. 10010

life. The recording is full uncompromised stereo, so that when played with a stereophonic cartridge and system it pro- vides the utmost in stereophonic spatial presence and depth. The same record is also playable with any reasonably mod- ern monaural cartridge and lightweight arm, and when so played provides full high fidelity monaural sound with no loss in quality or damage to the record.

Printed in U.S.A.

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BAROQUE CHRISTMAS CANTATAS

Heddy Graf, soprano; Dorothea Brinkmann, alto;

iS = Klaus Schmidt, tenor; Wilhelm Pommerien, bass; >

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Freiburg Student Choir; Instrumentalists Klaus Knall, conductor

vcs-10045 1 WW Side One

XSV 140895

1. ERLEBACH: Siehe, ich verkundige euch 6:55

2. AHLE: Merk auf mein Herz 9:59

3. BUXTEHUDE: Das neugeborne Kindelein 8:06 Copyright 1968

Vanguard Recording Society, Inc., N.Y. Recorded in Europe

BAROQUE CHRISTMAS CANTATAS Heddy Graf, soprano; Dorothea Brinkmann, alto: Klaus Schmidt, tenor; Wilhelm Pommerien, bass:

© zZ Freiburg Student Choir; Instrumentalists < 7

Klaus Knall, conductor VCS-10045-B 3 Side Two XSV 140896

1. TUNDER: Hosianna dem sohne David 10:43 2. TELEMANN: Lob Gott, ihr Christen allzugleich 13:18 Copyright 1968 Vanguard Recording Society, Inc., N.Y.

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