Michael Praetorius saw his most important mission as a composer in the promoting and spreading of the German-language chorale. His collection Musae Sioniae consists of altogether nine volumes and is virtually a complete edition of the Lutheran chorales in every setting imaginable. The Christmas hymns in Musae Sioniae, today just as popular as in that time, were of particular importance for Praetorius. He took greatest care in handling them and presented them often in many different settings. Most of the Christmas hymns selected for this album are also to be heard in different settings, from ornate bicinia and tricinia (in which only two or three of the same voices are used) to magnificent polychorals with two or three choirs, the choral texture so masterful that even the most complicated counterpoint is clearly audible.