Tag Archives: Heinrich Schütz Weihnachtshistorie)

Heinrich Schütz, “Weihnachtshistorie” (Christmas Story)

 

 

 

 

 
The Christmas Story (Weihnachtshistorie) is a musical setting of the Nativity in German by Heinrich Schütz, probably first performed in 1660 in Dresden. It was published as Historia der Geburt Jesu Christi (History of the birth of Jesus Christ).

The Christmas Story is a Historia, a setting of the Gospel intended to be performed during a service instead of the Gospel reading. The original title read: Historia der freuden und gnadenreichen Geburt Gottes und Marien Sohnes Jesu Christi (History of the joyful and blessed birth of Jesus Christ, son of God and Mary). The music was probably first performed in a Christmas service at the court chapel of Johann Georg II, Elector of Saxony, in Dresden in 1660. Schütz mentions the elector in the long title: “wie dieselbe auf Anordnung Johann Georgs des Anderen vocaliter und instrumentaliter in die Musik versetzet ist durch Heinrich Schütz” (as set to the music for voices and instruments on an order by the other Johann Georg).

The text is almost exclusively taken from the Bible in the translation by Martin Luther, quoting both Luke and Matthew, framed by a choral Introduction and Beschluss (Conclusion). The biblical narration is based on Luke 2:1–21 and Matthew 2:1–23. The text of the conclusion is a translation of the Christmas sequence “Grates nunc omnes” by Johann Spangenberg (1545). The narrator is the Evangelist. Other characters appear in eight sections termed Intermedium (interlude): the angel to the shepherds, the hosts of angels, the shepherds, the wise men, priests and scribes, Herod, an angel to Joseph (twice).

 

— Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_Story_(Sch%C3%BCtz)

 

 

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I have always loved this magnificent choral work, which induced me to commence a familiarity with and appreciation of the works of Schütz. I love this particular performance, which was on an LP which I obtained in the past.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   December 23, 2019