Posted to YouTube channel Felices Cantus Baroque, Aug. 5, 2022

Found, while I was looking for something else (which is the way I find some of my favorite videos), a new performance of Paul McCreesh conducting the Gabrieli Consort and Players in the Praetorius Christmas Mass that McCreesh reconstructed out of 16th- and early 17th-century German composer Michael Praetorius’ published works that might have been heard in a Lutheran festival service of his day.

McCreesh’s original Deutsche Grammophon Archiv recording, which came out in 1994, also featured the Gabrielli Consort and Players, as well as the Boys’ Choir and Congregational Choir of Roskilde Cathedral. It’s a classic, and it’s been a favorite of mine since I joined a Lutheran church 20 or 25 years ago and started learning more about its tradition of hymnody. In fact blogged about it HERE, combining some of my family history with a bit of background on the 1994 recording, which I downloaded as mp3 files.

The new performance, which I found on the Felices Cantus Baroque YouTube channel, was apparently broadcast by the French Mezzo TV classical music television channel. I can’t find out very much about it. Mezzo’s English-language webpage apparently only links to archived videos for 30 days (but it has some exciting classical, opera, dance and jazz selections and is very much worth checking out). But it was performed by McCreesh’s musicians at the Chapelle Royale in Versailles, and it was uploaded to YouTube this summer; I would guess the performance was during the holiday season in 2021.

It’s clearly the same reconstructed 17th-century service as on the 1994 recording, but it’s just as clearly a different interpretation of the same music. Which makes it interesting. And, most interesting of all, it is recorded in a high-definition video. I’ve seen other Mezzo videos, and this one lives up to their high visual standards.

And, for me at least, it adds a lot to see the musicians performing. So, all in all, I’m glad I found it!

[Published Nov. 11, 2022]

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