The Tradition of the Liturgy of the Hours (Liturgia Horarum)

Cover: Physical CD Release
Cover: Digital Music Album
EUR 22,00
CD
Maulbronn Chamber Choir
From early dawn... until late at night

A daily musical course according to the tradition
of the "Liturgy of the Hours" (Liturgia Horarum),
performed by the Maulbronn Chamber Choir,
with works by Orlando di Lasso, Joseph Rheinberger, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy,
Rolf Schweizer, Johann H. Schein, Jozef Swider, Arvo Pärt,
Sven David Sandström and Max Reger
Conductor: Jürgen Budday

A recording from the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery

HD Recording · DDD · c. 60 Minutes

Previews

Work(s) & Performance

T

he tradition of horary prayers (particularly Complet) is still cultivated for certain occasions today at the Evangelical Seminary, supporter of the cloister concerts and the Maulbronn Chamber Choir. It therefore stands to reason that the liturgical form of the horary prayers be transfused to a musical, clerical programme. Of course, it is not possible to feature the complete horary prayer texts as choir compositions. In such, the programme’s concept is based on the adoption of integral liturgy components from every horary prayer by textually identical or paraphrased choir compositions. Each horary prayer contains an hourly text, a psalm prayer, and a canticle from the New Testament. Thus, Zacharia’s Benedictus or the Te Deum is the designated canticle in the morning prayer; the vesper includes the Magnificat (Maria’s canticle), and the canticle in Complet is Simeon’s canticle (Nunc dimittis).
The programme implies particular suspense by posing 19th century compositions vis-à-vis stylistically contrary 20th century compositions and monophonic orthodox cantos. Whereby Arvo Pärt has limited himself to few harmonies in Magnificat and is very frugal with musical sources (minimal music) while assuming a vertically definitive harmonic and sensitive tone altogether, a strict contrapuntal linearity dominates Rolf Schweizer’s composition, which is primarily disposed to the consequent perfection of every individual voice, and in such, is subordinate to the vertical, harmonic aspect. Rolf Schweizer is of particular rigour in the imitative-rhythmic area in his composition “O lux mentium”, but keeps the piece in tonal balance with the rather homophonic insertions (“O Lux”).
The composition “Hear my prayer, O Lord” by the contemporary Swedish composer Sven David Sandström is a different type completely, and is based on a piece by the English composer Henry Purcell of the baroque era. Sandström adopts Purcell’s composition literally and in the middle of the piece, transports it very sensitively to his own modern tonal prose. Sandström is concerned with a very expressive interpretation of the text “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry". After an initial reserved, lamenting tone, the piece gradually mounts until it ultimately climaxes in an outmost dramatic, existentially affected outcry in which the praying man calls out his desperation (soprano to C’’). Fierce dissonances and extreme dynamic make his emotional condition clear, but after a while, the piece is gradually restored and finally ends with the most delicate pianissimo and a pure C-major triad (bass to low C). The praying man gradually calms down and surrenders to the Lord’s guidance with hope and trust.

Jürgen Budday

O

lux mentium
Motette, composed by Rolf Schweizer in 1998
Premiere 1998 of the Maulbronn Chamber Choir
O Licht der Gedanken, Gott, vertreibe von mir die Nacht der Torheit und gib mir den Tag der Weisheit. Gehe auf, Sonne der Wahrheit und der Gerechtigkeit, aus der tiefsten Tiefe deines Wesens, die alles Verstehen übersteigt. Erscheine im Himmel meiner Seele, auf Erden meinem Herzen. Vertilge also die körperlichen Gedanken und die Hirngespinste meiner Gedanken. Pflanze einen Spross deiner Erkenntnis in dem Innersten meines Geistes. Giesse deinen Heiligen Geist aus über dem Wasser meiner Hässlichkeit, damit ich zu dir gewandt und in Einklang mit deinem Sohn dich sehe und alles unter dir durch dich. O du reinste Wahrheit, schaue dich in mir, erkenne dich in mir. Durch mich selbst sehe ich nichts als Eitles, Schwankendes und Hinfälliges, sehe ich nichts als falsche und körperliche Vorstellungen. Durch mich bin ich nichts als Tod und dunkler, unvollkommener Abgrund. In dir bin ich, soweit ich bin. In dir lebe ich, soweit ich lebe. In dir erkenne ich, soweit ich erkenne, denn du bist die höchste Einsicht, die höchste Wesenheit, das höchste Leben. Vater, Sohn und Heiliger Geist, dreifache Einheit, einfache Dreiheit in sich, dem unendlichen Gott, ein Gott ohne Ende von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit. Amen

Series & Edition

Works, Movements & Tracklist

Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594):
1. Von morgens früh [1:10]
Motet for 4-part mixed choir



Morgengebet / Morning Prayers (Laudes):

Anonymous / Taizé:
2. Laudate omnes gentes [3:28]

Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901):
3. Morning Song: "Die Sterne sind erblichen" [4:36]
3 Geistliche Gesänge, Op. 69, No. 1
for 6-part mixed choir

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847):
4. Jauchzet dem Herrn, MWV B 58 [6:08]
3 Motets, Op. 69, No. 2
Psalm prayer (Psalm 100) for 4- till 8-part choir

Anonymous:
5. Canticum (Benedictus) [7:02]
Praise of Zacharias



Mittagsgebet / Noon Prayers (Sexte):

Rolf Schweizer (born 1935):
6. O lux mentium [9:19]
Motet for 4- till 8-part choir (composed 1998)
World Premiere in 1998 by the Maulbronn Chamber Choir

Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630):
7. Hoffe auf den Herrn (Psalm Prayer) [3:46]
Motet for 5-part mixed choir

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847):
8. Verleih uns Frieden gnädiglich, WoO 5, MWV A11 [1:44]
for 4-part mixed choir



Abendgebet / Evening Prayers (Vesper):

Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901):
9. Evening Song: "Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden" [3:34]
3 Geistliche Gesänge, Op. 69, No. 3
Motet for 6-part mixed choir

Jozef Swider (born 1930):
10. Cantus gloriosus [3:49]
for 4- till 7-part choir

Arvo Pärt (born 1935):
11. Magnificat (Canticum) [6:3]
Composed 1989, for 4- till 8-part choir



Nachtgebet / Night Prayers (Complet):

Sven-David Sandström (born 1938):
12. Hear My Prayer, O Lord [6:18]
for 8-part mixed choir, after Henry Purcell

Anonymous:
13. Nunc dimittis (Canticum) [4:40]
Praise of Simeon

Max Reger (1873-1916):
14. Der Mensch lebt und bestehet [3:03]
8 Geistliche Gesänge, Op. 138, No. 1
Motet for 8-part mixed choir


Recorded to 'Direct 2-Track Stereo Digital'
by Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler
at Maulbronn Monastery in Germany, 1999.

Recording Date: October 8-10, 1999

Sound & Recording Engineer: Andreas Otto Grimminger

Mastering / Remastering: Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler

Photography, Artwork & Coverdesign: Josef-Stefan Kindler

Review

***** One of the best German choirs...
The Maulbronner Kammerchor, conducted by Juergen Budday, can serve as a model example of the best that there is in the German style of this art: roundly shaped clear phrases, deliberately designed shadings of dynamics, precise articulation an a homogeneous balance of well-cultured voices. These caracteristics are symptomatic, regardless of whether they are singing a motet or a modern psalm, light in presentation but studded with thoroughly rehearsed effects...
A customer on Amazon.com

***** One of the best German choirs...

ReviewThe Maulbronner Kammerchor, conducted by Juergen Budday, can serve as a model example of the best that there is in the German style of this art: roundly shaped clear phrases, deliberately designed shadings of dynamics, precise articulation an a homogeneous balance of well-cultured voices. These caracteristics are symptomatic, regardless of whether they are singing a motet or a modern psalm, light in presentation but studded with thoroughly rehearsed effects...
A customer on Amazon.com

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