From Heavenly Harmony

A Praetorius Christmas

by Ken Myers

Of the many recordings of Christmas music in my library (on vinyl, CD, or digital format), relatively few of them feature music by a single composer. Most are anthologies of works by a variety of composers and arrangers: carols, motets, chants, anthems, and extracts from Christmas cantatas or oratorios. But one composer stands out as a notable exception: Michael Praetorius. I have at least five recordings in my collection that concentrate on compositions and harmonizations of Christmas (and Advent) music by this great (if under-appreciated) late Renaissance composer.

Musicologist Walter Blankenburg expresses a consensus among his colleagues in proclaiming that Praetorius (1571–1621) was . . .

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Ken Myers is the host and producer of the Mars Hill Audio Journal. Formerly an arts editor with National Public Radio, he also served as editor of Eternity, the Evangelical monthly magazine, and This World, the quarterly predecessor to First Things. He also serves as music director at All Saints Anglican Church in Ivy, Virginia. He is a contributing editor for Touchstone.

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