Musik fra Brødremenigheden i Christiansfeld

Various chamber configurations, sometimes with choir and/or vocal soloist(s)
2-8 instr
B4, 266 pages

The Moravian music collection in Christiansfeld is one of the largest privately owned, Danish collections including works dating back to the foundation of the town in 1773. At the end of the eighteenth century Christiansfeld, which the Moravian community built within very few years, was a place where music both in church and outside the auspices of the church was of a high standard in terms of both the quality of the music as well and the performances. Many flocked to the town, not only to shop but also to attend concerts, church services with hymn-singing and anthems and to be given a tour around the town by a tourist guide.

Danish Centre for Music Editing has edited a collection of twenty-two, very different sacred anthems or short cantatas which have never been published before. The works show not only the rather high standard of playing of the town’s ensemble, but also that many of the around 700 inhabitants must have participated in the music performances. The selected works that are representative of the entire music collection range from large double choir anthems to arias for a vocal soloist and orchestra. In addition to strings and organ (and harpsichord), the ensemble also included trumpets, natural horns, oboes, traversos and bassoons; they even had harps. Thus they could assemble a wide array of different sizes of orchestras. Today, many of the composers are somewhat obscure (Johann Ludwig Freydt, Johann Christian Geisler, Christian Gregor, Johann Gottfried Weber), but the present selection includes also works by more famous composers such as Daniel Gottlob Türk and Johann Heinrich Rolle.

The works not only provide us with a fine insight into the musical activities of the Moravian community but they also give us a greater understanding of why contemporary society was so fascinated by the results of the congregation which, besides trade, industry and education, also embraced the importance of music in everyday life.

This collection is published by the Danish Centre for Music Publication of the Royal Library in cooperation with Edition·S – music¬sound¬art.


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