Creuzburg, Celle, Leipzig, Erfurt and Minden Feature September 2016 Concerts by Canto ArmonicoStJohnBaptistNativity

Canto Armonico goes on tour to Germany! We have been invited to sing in the annual Praetorius-Tage held over the second weekend in September in Michael's native town of Creuzburg, near Eisenach. The program "Vesper zum Johannisfest mit Musik von und um Michael Praetorius," directed by Dr. Ulf Wellner, will be broadcast live on Saturday, September 10th, by Wartburg Radio in Eisenach -- that's right, from the Wartburg, where Martin Luther translated the New Testament into the vernacular! We will also visit this magnificent castle.

Music for our Creuzburg appearance, by Michael and Hieronymus Praetorius and Heinrich Schütz, will be heard in additional concerts in Minden and Celle in western Germany. In a separate set of programs, we will sing Tudor Reformation music in Hämelschenburg, Leipzig, and Erfurt. Watch for details about our tour blog!

Celestial Harmonies, Divine Inspiration: Vespers Music for the Tudors

July 20th at 5 pm, St. Christopher's Church, Chatham, a program of Tudor church music

In the early 1600s the Separatists came to Cape Cod to practice their faith free of the restrictions imposed by the Church of England. In due time, Anglicans followed. St. Christopher's in Chatham is the setting for a program of Anglican and English Catholic music from the early years of the reformation (ca. 1540-1590), by three of England's greatest composers active during those tumultuous times: John Sheppard, Thomas Tallis, and William Byrd.

Our First Recording Appears on Hungaroton/Naxos!

Hungaroton CD cover

Chorales of Michael Praetorius, Heinrich Schütz, Johann Hermann Schein, and Samuel Scheidt

Now available from Hungaroton and iTunes, a new recording of Bach's monumental Clavierübung III by Bálint Karosi, with Canto Armonico performing the chorales that provide the basis for Bach's organ settings.

In this recording Canto Armonico is directed by Cheryl Ryder, artistic director and manager of Canto Armonico, and Ulf Wellner, former Kantor at Lübeck's Jakobikirche and now Kantor at the Martinikirche in Minden, Germany. Professor Markus Rathey of Yale University has written the liner notes.

Most current recordings of the Clavierübung III feature the organ chorale versions only, but this new recording immerses the listener in the 17th-century world of the young Bach and fellow composers, and demonstrates how central the sung chorale was to these German composers' lives. They would have known not only the simple versions of the chorales from church hymnals, but also many of the polyphonic settings published and sung by boys in the Latin school curriculum. Canto Armonico records a sampling of these polyphonic chorale settings alongside their simpler counterparts, as follows:

The settings by Praetorius for two tenors and two basses, in particular, merit special attention as they demonstrate how adept the composer was at writing music for whatever forces were at his disposal! We recorded the chorales in September and October under the direction of Dr. Ulf Wellner, a specialist in the music of Michael Praetorius, who directed our June 2013 performance of the St. John the Baptist vespers service during Boston's Early Music Festival.

Lutheran Vespers Music by Canto Armonico

Jakob Handl: Emitte Spiritum
Michael Praetorius: Der heil'ge Geist von Himmel kam
Michael Praetorius: Komm, heiliger Geist
Heinrich Schütz: Becker Psalm 104: Herr, wie gross sind deine Werk
Hieronymus Praetorius: Jubilate Deo