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Leipzig: "World in Miniature"

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[Theme music]

Welcome to Harmonia…I’m Angela Mariani.

Enlightenment philosopher Gotthold Ephraim Lessing said, “I'm coming to Leipzig, to the place where one can see the whole world in miniature.” This week on Harmonia, a bit of time travel to that city in Saxony, with music from over 400 years of Leipzig church and city life, including works written for the Thomaskirche and for the town council. Then we’ll travel east, to Warsaw, to hear music for the House of Vasa in our featured release Marcin Mielczewski from a recording by The Sixteen.

[Theme music fades]

MUSIC TRACK

Florilegium Portense
Vocal Consort Dresden and Capella Sagittariana Dresden / dir. Peter Kopp
Carus 2018 / B07GR936WD
Arcangelo Borsaro
Tr. 3 Sit nomen Domini benedictum (4:27)

“Sit nomen Domini benedictum” by Arcangelo Borsaro, performed by Vocal Consort Dresden and Capella Sagittariana Dresden, directed by Peter Kopp—from the 2018 Carus release, Florilegium Portense.

Today, when music lovers think of Leipzig, we remember it first as the place associated with Bach and Mendelssohn, and later, a city where Mahler wrote his first symphony. Leipzig has a long history of vibrant musical activity: an organ was built there as early as the mid fifteenth century, and the THOmaskirche, or St Thomas’ Church, has been a home for prominent music directors for centuries. We’ll begin with music from late-Renaissance composer Sethus Calvisius. Noted for his contributions to astronomy as well as music, Calvisius’s Opus Chronologicum opened up exploration of the night sky through his records of nearly 300 eclipses. We’ll listen to two pieces by Calvisius: “Deus sator mortalium” and “Praeter rerum seriem,” performed by a mixed ensemble of singers and organ with seventeenth century brass, woodwinds, and strings.

MUSIC TRACK

Florilegium Portense
Vocal Consort Dresden and Capella Sagittariana Dresden / dir. Peter Kopp
Carus 2018 / B07GR936WD
Sethus Calvisius
Tr. 9 Deus sator mortalium (3:29)
Tr. 10 Praeter rerum seriem (5:59)

“Deus sator mortalium” and “Praeter rerum seriem,” music by Sethus Calvisius, from seventeenth-century Leipzig. Peter Kopp directed Vocal Concert Dresden and Dresden Cappella Sagittariana.

Here’s some much earlier music that would have been heard in this corner of Saxony. Built adjacent to the Thomaskirche, the Thomasschule trained young musicians at a singing school as early as the thirteenth century. This is “Alleluia: Vox exultationis” from the Mass for the Dedication of a Church from the St. Thomas Gradual.

MUSIC TRACK

Two Gregorian Masses from the Thomas Gradual
Ensemble Amarcord
Raumklang 2012 / B00A3GXRB0
Tr. 5 Alleluia: Vox exultationis (4:00)

Ensemble Amarcord sang the Alleluia from the St. Thomas Gradual--music from around 1300.

Moving ahead again to the seventeenth century, Johann Hermann Schein succeeded Sethus Calvisius at Thomaskirche. Schein wrote music for church and city as well, bringing fashionable, Italian-court style music to Leipzig. Let’s hear three dances by Schein: Intrada, Padouana, and Courente.

MUSIC TRACK 

Musica boscareccia
United Continuo Ensemble / dir. Thor-Harald Johnsen
Pan Classics 2015 / B015LIXTW6
Johann Hermann Schein
Tr. 6 Intrada (1:59)
Tr. 17 Padouna (4:05)
Tr. 8 Courente (1:24)

Three dances by Johann Hermann Schein. Thor-Herald Johnsen directed the United Continuo Ensemble on their 2015 recording, Musica boscareccia.

Theme music fades in: (Theme Music Bed: Ensemble Alcatraz, Danse Royale, Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2 [ASIN: B000005J0B], T.12: La Prime Estampie Royal)

You’re listening to Harmonia . . . I’m Angela Mariani.

Midpoint break music bed:
Musica boscareccia
United Continuo Ensemble / dir. Thor-Harald Johnsen
Pan Classics 2015 / B015LIXTW6
Johann Herman Schein
Excerpt of Tr. 13 Gagliarda – Courente (2:41)

 

Welcome back! This hour, we’re walking through the streets and churches of Leipzig. Later, we’ll hear Polish music from our featured release Marcin Mielczewski.

Johan Kuhnau is remembered today as the predecessor to Bach at Thomaskirche. In addition to composing music for liturgical use, Kuhnau was an expert scholar and teacher, whose prominent students included Graupner and Heinichen. Still, Kuhnau’s time in Leipzig was not without difficulty. He saw wavering support from the town council and had to compete with Telemann and Fasch for students and public attention. We’ll hear three versus, or sections, from a chorale cantata by Kuhnau that translates to “Whatever my God ordains is right.”

MUSIC TRACK

Johann Kuhnau: Complete Sacred Works, Vol. 4
Opella Musica and Camerata Lipsiensis Gregor Meyer
CPO 2015 / B07LBQC7RV
Johann Kuhnau
Tr. 20 Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan : Versus 1: Chorale (3:35)
Tr. 21 Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan : Versus 2 : Duetto: Andante (1:26)
Tr. 25 Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan : Versus 6: Allegro moderato (1:27)

Three versus from Johann Kuhnau’s hymn of consolation, “Whatever my God ordains is right.” The Vocal ensemble Opella Musica, with instrumentalists of Camerata Lipsiensis, were directed by Gregor Meyer.

As mentioned in reference to Kuhnau’s struggles, the town council in Leipzig held sway over the city’s musical activities. Johann Sebastian Bach is known for his 200 sacred cantatas, but he wrote several secular cantatas as well, some specifically for the town council of Leipzig. We’ll hear music from one of these cantatas, “You gates of Zion.” Bach wrote this piece for Ratswahl—a celebration to commemorate the inauguration of a new town council in 1727. Here are an aria and chorus from Cantata 193, reconstructed by the conductor of The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir, Ton Koopman.

MUSIC TRACK

J. S. Bach Cantatas: Vol 19
The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir / dir. Ton Koopman
Challenge Classics 2005 / B000QR4YM2
Johann Sebastian Bach
Tr. 22 Ihr Tore zu Zion, BWV 193 (reconstructed by T. Koopman) : Aria: Sende Herr, den Segen ein (Alto) (3:16)
Tr. 24 Ihr Tore zu Zion, BWV 193 (reconstructed by T. Koopman) : Ihr Tore zu Zion (Chorus) (4:20)

Music of Johann Sebastian Bach:  “Send down, Lord, your blessing,” and chorus “You gates of Zion,” Bach’s Cantata 193. Ton Koopman led The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir.

We move east now—from Leipzig to Warsaw—to explore music of Polish baroque composer Marcin Mielczewski. Mielczewski worked for the Vasa ruling family of Poland and Lithuania. We’ll hear the Kyrie and Gloria from Missa Cerviensiana, composed for choirs of voices and instruments,  including a pair of violins and four trombones.

MUSIC TRACK

Marcin Mielczewski : [Choral and Chamber Music]
The Sixteen and The Sixteen Orchestra / dir. Eamonn Dougan
The Sixteen Productions 2017 / B073ZLPR3L
Marcin Mielczewski
Tr. 2 Cerviensiana (excerpts) : Kyrie (1:32)
Tr. 3 Cerviensiana (excerpts) : Gloria (3:26)

The Kyrie and Gloria from Missa Cerviensiana by Polish baroque composer Marcin Mielczewski. Eamonn Dougan directed The Sixteen from their 2017 release Marcin Mielczewski. The CD comes from a series of recordings that bring music of the Polish baroque to modern listeners. We’ll conclude with “Canzona Terza for 3,” scored for two violins, bassoon, and basso continuo.

MUSIC TRACK

Marcin Mielczewski
The Sixteen and The Sixteen Orchestra / dir. Eamonn Dougan
The Sixteen Productions / B073ZLPR3L
Marcin Mielczewski
Tr. 4 Canzona Terza a 3 (3:28)

The Sixteen performed “Canzona Terza for 3,” by Marcin Mielczewski.

Fade in theme music 

Harmonia is a production of WFIU. Support comes from Early Music America which strengthens and celebrates early music by supporting the people and organizations that perform, study, and find joy in it. …on the web at EarlyMusicAmerica-DOT-org. Additional resources come from the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

We welcome your thoughts about any part of this program, or about early music in general. Contact us at harmonia early music dot org.

The writer for this edition of Harmonia was Sarah Schilling. 

Thanks to our studio engineer Michael Paskash, and our production team: Wendy Gillespie, Elizabeth Clark, LuAnn Johnson and John Bailey. I’m Angela Mariani, inviting you to join us again for the next edition of Harmonia.

1598 colored woodcut of Leipzig, Germany.

Leipzig, Germany. Detail from a 1598 woodcut.

Enlightenment philosopher Gotthold Ephraim Lessing said, “I'm coming to Leipzig, to the place where one can see the whole world in miniature.” This week on Harmonia, a bit of time travel to that city in Saxony, with music from over 400 years of Leipzig church and city life, including works written for the Thomaskirche and for the town council. Then we’ll travel east, to Warsaw, to hear music for the House of Vasa in our featured release Marcin Mielczewski, from a recording by The Sixteen.


PLAYLIST

Florilegium Portense
Vocal Consort Dresden and Capella Sagittariana Dresden / dir. Peter Kopp
Carus 2018 / B07GR936WD
Arcangelo Borsaro
Tr. 3 Sit nomen Domini benedictum (4:27)

Segment A:
Florilegium Portense
Vocal Consort Dresden and Capella Sagittariana Dresden / dir. Peter Kopp
Carus 2018 / B07GR936WD
Sethus Calvisius
Tr. 9 Deus sator mortalium (3:29)
Tr. 10 Praeter rerum seriem (5:59)

Two Gregorian Masses from the Thomas Gradual
Ensemble Amarcord
Raumklang 2012 / B00A3GXRB0
Tr. 5 Alleluia: Vox exultationis (4:00)

Musica boscareccia
United Continuo Ensemble / dir. Thor-Harald Johnsen
Pan Classics 2015 / B015LIXTW6
Johann Hermann Schein
Tr. 6 Intrada (1:59)
Tr. 17 Padouna (4:05)
Tr. 8 Courente (1:24)

Theme Music Bed: Ensemble Alcatraz, Danse Royale, Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2 [ASIN: B000005J0B], T.12: La Prime Estampie Royal

:59 Midpoint Break Music Bed:
Musica boscareccia
United Continuo Ensemble / dir. Thor-Harald Johnsen
Pan Classics 2015 / B015LIXTW6
Johann Herman Schein
Excerpt of Tr. 13 Gagliarda – Courente (2:41)

Segment B:
Johann Kuhnau: Complete Sacred Works, Vol. 4
Opella Musica and Camerata Lipsiensis Gregor Meyer
CPO 2015 / B07LBQC7RV
Johann Kuhnau
Tr. 20 Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan : Versus 1: Chorale (3:35)
Tr. 21 Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan : Versus 2 : Duetto: Andante (1:26)
Tr. 25 Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan : Versus 6: Allegro moderato (1:27)

J. S. Bach Cantatas: Vol 19
The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir / dir. Ton Koopman
Challenge Classics 2005 / B000QR4YM2
Johann Sebastian Bach
Tr. 22 Ihr Tore zu Zion, BWV 193 (reconstructed by T. Koopman) : Aria: Sende Herr, den Segen ein (Alto) (3:16)
Tr. 24 Ihr Tore zu Zion, BWV 193 (reconstructed by T. Koopman) : Ihr Tore zu Zion (Chorus) (4:20)

Featured Release:
Marcin Mielczewski : [Choral and Chamber Music]
The Sixteen and The Sixteen Orchestra / dir. Eamonn Dougan
The Sixteen Productions 2017 / B073ZLPR3L
Marcin Mielczewski
Tr. 2 Cerviensiana (excerpts) : Kyrie (1:32)
Tr. 3 Cerviensiana (excerpts) : Gloria (3:26)

Marcin Mielczewski
The Sixteen and The Sixteen Orchestra / dir. Eamonn Dougan
The Sixteen Productions / B073ZLPR3L
Marcin Mielczewski
Tr. 4 Canzona Terza a 3 (3:28)

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