19 November 2009

Listening to Praetorius

I am convinced, utterly convinced, that no one understands Lutheran Orthodoxy who doesn't experience something of the sublime glorification of God in the liturgy of those days. Talk about evangelische Ansatz! It was first and foremost an explosion of praise that brought Western music to new heights and sometimes I think that we've never come close to scaling those lofty peaks in the many centuries since. And it's wrong to think of Bach as isolated; he was the last of the greats of those days, but he stood on the shoulders of giants too.


Chris said...

It really is a shame that great composers such as Schutz, Hassler and especially Praetorius do not get the recognition they are due. You are absolutely right that Bach was following in a tradition of such great men as were his contemporaries, Handel and Telemann (who really doesn't get the attention he deserves). If reasserting Lutheran identity is a priority for the LCMS, then they really need to look to these luminaries for their worship rather than appropriate hymns from Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists and praise songs from Evangelicals.

Chris said...

I meant to say "inappropriate".

IggyAntiochus said...

Lutheran Mass for Christmas Morning. Chant and Praetorius side-by-side. Heavenly!


Elephantschild said...

We're singing a couple of Praetorius settings this season. I love them all. Those spare-but-rich, open harmonizations are so stunning.

@ Chris - Telemann is slightly better known among flautists.