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Heinrich von Herzogenberg: Die Geburt Christi / Grube, Schudel, Eggers, Maus, Schramm

Notes & Reviews:

Herzogenberg's oratorio "The Birth of Christ" was quite extraordinary for its time. Large-scale religious music was no longer fashionable, and even most Masses were written for the concert hall rather than for the church. Herzongenberg's Die Geburt Christi is scored for a large orchestra, choir, children's chorus, soloists and organ, deftly combining the contrapuntal textures of Bach with the late Romantic harmonic language of Brahms.

Gramophone Magazine, December 2012
This version has the tang of the youthful choral society to it which combines well with the youthful industriousness of the music to make something comfortingly familiar that illustrates the most fundamental of Christmas sentiments through some dramatic story-telling.

MusicWeb International, November 2012
The performance is good, with no shortcomings of any significance from the soloists, choir or accompaniment and Christian Grube's overall direction is clearly sympathetic to the music. A full-blown blockbuster approach would have been quite inappropriate to this sensitive and delicate work and Grube gets the scale just right.

American Record Guide, November/December 2013
The Birth of Christ (1894) is a Christmas oratorio, using a small orchestra with a pipe and a portative organ. The idiom is clear, with some beautiful harmony and part writing. The music has some familiar citations, including 'In Dulce Jubilo' and 'Vom Himmel Hoch', blended into the general texture with the composer's customary skill. His setting of 'Lo How a Rose' is highly appealing. The playing and singing are excellent, with bright, resonant sound and a firm bass.



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