Notes & Reviews:
The Christmas carols on this CD form a dramaturgical cycle, beginning with the mysterious night into which falls the light of God; there follow narrative and devotional songs as well as hymns of praise leading to the birth of Christ, then back into the night that also symbolically bears within itself the breaking of the new day. They form an arc extending from the music of the Renaissance and Baroque to romantic choral works, settings of lieder and compositions of the 20th century. For over forty years, Uwe Gronostay strongly influenced German and European choral culture as a conductor, pedagogue and organiser in equal measure in the professional choral scene, with the high-achievement ensembles amongst amateur choirs, in education at academies of music and in international networking. He would have turned 75 on 25 October 2014. To mark this occasion, audite is releasing the present CD with Christmas carols recorded by Gronostay for the RIAS Berlin during the 14 years of his period as artistic director of the RIAS Chamber Choir between 1972 and 1986. Alongside several well-known pieces, there are also lesser-known ones that will offer interested listeners a welcome expansion of the Christmas repertoire. At the same time, the CD documents Gronostay's view that all ambitious choral work should begin with the stylistic richness and sonic challenges of the a-cappella literature, progressively working from short forms to major works.
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