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Michael Praetorius (1571 – 1621)
Michael Praetorius (1571 – 1621) was a German composer, organist, and writer about music. He was one of the most versatile composers of his age, being particularly significant in the development of musical forms based on Protestant hymns.
Born Michael Schultze, the youngest son of a Lutheran pastor, in Creuzburg, Germany. He attended school in Torgau and Zerbst and studied divinity at the University of Frankfurt (Oder). He served as organist at the Marienkirche in Frankfurt before working at the court in Wolfenbüttel as organist and (from 1604) as Kapellmeister. From 1613 to 1616 he worked at the Saxon court at Dresden, where he was exposed to the latest Italian music, including the polychoral works of the Venetian School. His subsequent development of the form of the chorale concerto, particularly the polychoral variety, resulted directly from his familiarity with the music of such Venetians as Giovanni Gabrieli. Michael Praetorius is entombed in a vault beneath the organ of St. Mary’s Church in Wolfenbüttel, Germany.
Praetorius was a tremendously prolific composer, his works include:
The nine volume Musae sioniae (1605-10);
A collection of over a thousand chorale and song arrangements;
Many other works for the Lutheran church;
Terpsichore (1612), a compendium of over 300 instrumental dances, which is both his most widely-known work and sole surviving secular work.
His three volume treatise Syntagma Musicum I and Syntagma Musicum de Organographia II (1614-20) are detailed texts on contemporary musical practices and musical instruments.
A Great And Mighty Wonder : Lyrics
A great and mighty wonder,
A full and holy cure:
The Virgin bears the Infant
With virgin honour pure!
Repeat the hymn again:
To God on high be glory
And peace on earth to men!
The Word becomes incarnate
And yet remains on high,
And cherubim sing anthems
To shepherds from the sky.
Repeat the hymn again:
To God on high ...
I Know A Rose Tree Springing : Lyrics
1. I know a rose tree springing
Forth from an ancient root,
As men of old we singing,
From Jesse came the shoot
That bore a blossom bright
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.
2. This rose-tree, blossom laden,
Whereof Isaiah spake,
Is Mary, spotless maiden
Who mothered, for our sake,
The little Child, ...
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