Praetorius, Michael (1571-1621)

Michael Praetorius

born: 15 February 1571
died: 15 February 1621
country: Germany

Michael Praetorius was born on 15 February 1571 at Creuzberg an der Werra near Eisenach, the son of a Lutheran pastor. His family moved to Torgau when he was a small child, though throughout his life he referred to himself as ‘M.P.C.’—Michael Praetorius Creuzbergensis. He was educated in Frankfurt an der Oder and Zerbst, and in 1587 became organist of St Marien in Frankfurt. In 1595 he entered the service of Duke Heinrich Julius of Brunswick in Wolfenbüttel and was made Kapellmeister in 1604. Shortly afterwards he also began to work for Landgrave Moritz of Hesse at Kassel, and after Duke Heinrich Julius’s death in 1613 spent several years working for the Elector of Saxony in Dresden. By this time he was one of the most famous musicians in Germany, and worked at various times over the next few years at Magdeburg, Halle, Sonderhausen, Kassel, Leipzig, Nuremberg and Bayreuth. However, he continued as Kapellmeister at the Wolfenbüttel court, and died there on his fiftieth birthday, 15 February 1621.

Praetorius devoted most of his life to church music. He published more than twenty collections, mostly of settings of Lutheran chorales, and a number of others are known to have existed in manuscript. He also planned a series of collections of secular music named after the various Greek muses, including Euterpe (Italian and English dances), Thalia (toccatas and canzonas) and Erato (German secular songs). Unfortunately, in the event he managed to publish only one, Terpsichore, musarum aoniarum quinta (Wolfenbüttel, 1612), consisting of 312 dances in four, five and six parts.

from notes by Peter Holman

Albums

Praetorius: Christmas Music
CDH55446Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Praetorius: Dances from Terpsichore
CDA67240
Christmas Carols and Motets
CDGIM010
Christmas through the ages
NOEL1Super-budget price sampler — Download only
Christmas with The King's Singers
SIGCD502Download only
Christmas with The Tallis Scholars
CDGIM2022CDs for the price of 1

Complete works available for download

Ballet des coqsThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Ballet du Roy pour sonner apresThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Bransle de villagesThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Courante 'Grimstock'The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Courante 'Light of love'The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Courante 'Packington's Pound'The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Dances from TerpsichoreThe Parley of Instruments
Dances from TerpsichoreThe Parley of Instruments
Es ist ein Ros' entsprungenThe Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor), Deborah Roberts (soprano)
Es ist ein Ros' entsprungenWestminster Cathedral Choir, The Parley of Instruments, David Hill (conductor)
Es ist ein Ros' entsprungenThe King's Singers
La bourréeThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
La canarieThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
La sarabandeThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Nun helft mir Gottes Güte schon preisenWestminster Cathedral Choir, The Parley of Instruments, David Hill (conductor)
Nun komm, der Heiden HeilandWestminster Cathedral Choir, The Parley of Instruments, David Hill (conductor)
Pavane de SpaigneThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Puer natus in Bethlehem 'Ein Kind geborn'Westminster Cathedral Choir, The Parley of Instruments, David Hill (conductor)
Pueri nostri concinite 'Singet und klinget'Westminster Cathedral Choir, The Parley of Instruments, David Hill (conductor)
Quem pastores laudavereWestminster Cathedral Choir, The Parley of Instruments, David Hill (conductor)
SpagnolettaThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Vom Himmel hochWestminster Cathedral Choir, The Parley of Instruments, David Hill (conductor)
Wachet auf, ruft uns die StimmeThe Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)
Wie schön leuchtet der MorgensternWestminster Cathedral Choir, The Parley of Instruments, David Hill (conductor)
Wie schön leuchtet der MorgensternThe King's Singers
ANONYMOUS - TRADITIONAL
BalletThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Ballet des Baccanales – Ballet des feus – Ballet des matelotzThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Courante 'Battaglia'The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Courante 'Wilson's Wild'The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
THOMAS CAMPION (1567-1620))
Courante 'I care not for these ladies'The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
PIERRE FRANCISQUE CAROUBEL (d1611))
Bransle simpleThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
BranslesThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Gaillarde 284The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
Gaillarde 285The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
PassamezeThe Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)
JOHN DOWLAND (1563-1626))
Courante 'Mistris Winter's Jump'The Parley of Instruments, Peter Holman (conductor)