A Baroque German Christmas: Tempesta di Mare presents 17th-century advent music

Modern-day Dresden.

Modern-day Dresden.

For centuries, the German city of Dresden was a center of artistic and economic activity. During the 17th century, its court commissioned two of central Europe’s best composers, Michael Praetorius and Heinrich Schütz, to create advent music for the royal chapel. The result was some of the finest music from the confluence of the Renaissance and baroque. This holiday season, Philadelphia’s Tempesta di Mare— ensemble dedicated to presenting expert renderings of baroque classical pieces—is teaming up with Choral Arts Philadelphia and Piffaro Renaissance Band to perform selections of Christmas music from the Court of Dresden.

Michael Praetorius Veni redemptor (O come, Redeemer)
Heinrich Schütz Der Herr sprach zu meinem Herren (The Lord said to my lord)
Michael Praetorius Magnificat (my soul doth magnify the Lord)
Heinrich Schütz Wohl dem der den Herren fürchtet (Blessed he who fears the Lord)
Michael Praetorius Wachet auf! (Sleepers wake!)

The concert series brings Tempesta, Piffaro and Choral Arts Philadelphia—three of the region’s best-loved musical organizations—together for the first time. The selection promises sumptuous polychoral “vocal concertos” with consorts of brilliant cornettos, burnished sackbuts, gentle recorders, robust strings, all to a rich accompaniment of harps, theorbos and organs.

Performances begin Friday, December 18, 2015, at the majestic Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul on the Ben Franklin Parkway. But whatever the size of the venue, Tempesta di Mare annual holiday concerts have an intimate and charming seasonal atmosphere. [various locations] December 18-20, 2015′ tempestadimare.org.


Friday, December 18, 8:00
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul
1723 Race Street

Saturday, December 19, 8:00
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
8855 Germantown Avenue

Sunday, December 20, 3:30
Saints Andrew and Matthew, Wilmington
719 N Shipley Street

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About the author

Christopher Munden

Your faithful correspondent and publisher Christopher Munden has written and edited for many publications, websites, and cultural institutions. He was an editor/publisher of the Philly Fiction book series, collections of short stories written by local writers and set in Philadelphia. He's also a soccer coach and a pretty good skier.