Christmas in turbulent times
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Cappella Gabrieli sings Thomas Tallis’ Missa Puer natus est nobis and Hugo Distler’s Die Weihnachtsgeschichte.
Tallis lived and worked in the time of the English Reformation. Catholics and Protestants fought at all levels. Tallis wrote his Christmas mass Puer natus est nobis against this backdrop, presumably on the occasion of the 1554 arrival of King Philip II of Spain in England. The Catholic monarch travelled with his famous Capilla Flamenca. This probably inspired Tallis to write in the Flemish style, with its characteristic full, sonorous and broad sound.
Distler’s Weihnachtsgeschichte dates from 1933. The crisis in pre- war Germany made his work particularly difficult. Die Weihnachtsgeschichte reflects the changeability of society of the time: alternating musical fireworks and stillness.
Thomas Tallis (ca. 1505 - 1585)
Missa Puer natus est nobis
Hugo Distler (1908 - 1942)