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CD Review

Jewels from a German Christmas

Christmas Songs and Organ Music

  • Johann Sebastian Bach:
  • Freuet euch, ihr Christen alle
  • Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier
  • Mit Ernst, O Menschenkinder
  • O Jesulein zart
  • Hugo Distler: Maria durch ein Dornwald ging
  • Johannes Eccard:
  • Vom Himmel hoch
  • Übers Gebirg Maria geht
  • Hieronymus Praetorius:
  • Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
  • Joseph lieber Joseph mein
  • Psallite
  • Max Reger: Und unser lieben Frauen Traum
  • Leonhard Schröder: Freut euch ihr lieben Christen
  • Philipp Friedrich Silcher: Macht hoch die Tür
  • Carl Thiel: Preis sei Gott
  • Gerd Wachowski: *
  • Der Heiland ist geboren
  • Es kommt ein Schiff
  • Ihr Kinderlein kommet
  • Lobt Gott
  • Macht hoch die Tür
  • Nun freut euch ihr Christen
  • Nun singet und seid froh
  • O du fröhliche
  • Stille Nacht
  • Vom Himmel hoch
  • Weihn Festmarsch
  • Weißt du, wieviel Sternlein stehen
* Gerd Wachowski, organ
Würzburg Bach Choir/Christian Kabitz
Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG6051516-2 63m DDD
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With the Yuletide season fast approaching, the steady flow of CD's dedicated to this universal celebration start to appear in earnest. This very interesting MD&G issue has many positives going for it, not least the 26 tracks which make up the programme including popular (and not so popular) Christmas and Advent carols and hymns such as "Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht" or "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen".

Another attractive feature is that some items are heard not only in their choral garb, but their magnificent melodies are the subject of much improvisation on the organ, with the listener ushered in and out of this experience to the sound of the famous 17th century bells of St. James Church in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which houses a grand new organ built in its Gothic interior in 1968. This monster of an instrument was assembled by the Rieger Organ Company of Schwarzavh and has more than 5000 pipes and over 60 speaking stops.

The Würzburg Bach Choir (founded in 1961) has been under the direction of Christian Kobitz since 1979, and their performances are as loving as they are devotional. The singing is also imbued with much reverence and spiritual joy. Wachowski and the Rieger Organ have been constant companions since the formers schoolboy days, and this wonderful acquaintance shows in playing of eloquence and when warranted, gentle sweetness.

Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech