Christmas was once celebrated with extravagant music as an anticipation of the afterlife. The tension between heaven and earth, the beginning of something new, and the expectation of eternal life are beautifully preserved in an abundance of northern European music from the 17th century.
Even today, it still sounds incredibly festive – Christmas! In the German-speaking area as well as in the Low Countries, there is a great amount of often unknown Christmas repertoire. Beautiful pieces in which the celebration is told through moving cantatas, concertos, motets, and instrumental sonatas. Time and again we hear the story of the star and the hour of anticipation: Sternstunde.
Ensemble Polyharmonique is a collective of soloists and a rising star in the German vocal baroque scene. Their specialty is early Baroque German repertoire. Together, Ensemble Polyharmonique and Holland Baroque present an inventive program of composers including Hammerschmidt, Knupfer, Praetorius, Rosenmüller, and Schütz. The program also includes Dutch repertoire from the same period.
In keeping with the northern European tradition, the whole program is interspersed with Christmas folksongs. The old Christmas call “Noe, Noe!” spreads the good news with music that sparkles and warms the heart.
Works by Andreas Hammerschmidt, Johann Rosenmüller, and Heinrich Schütz.