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Puer natus in Bethlehem

1620; Cantiones sacrae; 8vv SSAATTBB
author of text
Hymn at Christmastide; thirteenth century

As Kapellmeister at Halle, Scheidt worked under difficult conditions, which included the Thirty Years’ War (which left him in post but without pay), disputes with the clergy (which resulted in his losing his position), and plague, which claimed the lives of his four surviving children. His music represented a new north German style resulting in large part from the effects of the Reformation, and standing in contrast to the Italian style of his contemporary, Monteverdi, whose Cantate Domino was published in the same year.

The text ‘Puer natus in Bethlehem’ forms the introit for the Eucharist on Christmas morning. The 13th-century melody would have been as well known to Scheidt’s audience as other tunes such as In dulci jubilo and Resonet in laudibus, which have remained popular to this day. Here the text has been elaborated and the lightly buoyant setting by Scheidt conveys the joy of the birth of Christ.

from notes by Emma Cleobury © 2019


A winter's night
Studio Master: SIGCD646Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Sacred treasures of Christmas
Studio Master: CDA68358Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
The music of King's
Studio Master: KGS0034-DDownload onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 6 on CDA68358 [2'23]
Track 9 on SIGCD646 [2'15] Download only
Track 2 on KGS0034-D [2'48] Download only

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