The tradition of the courtly wind music in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England is brilliant and colorful. Trumpets, timpani and trombones provided the sonic highlights in the musical framework of royal festivities. The courtly masques and morality plays of the Elizabethan period, a combination of theater, dance and music in staged form, supplied the basic idea for the reconstruction of a historical Christmas feast at the English royal court.
Yet, in spite of all courtly splendor, Christmas remaines the celebration of the birth of God’s son. The antiphons that frame the program bear eloquent witness to the anticipation of and the yearning for this day.
With the music of the most important composers of the epoch, the Baroque Trumpet Ensemble Berlin shows the great ambivalence of the Christmas celebration: the radiant sounds, courtly festivity, and splendor in the works of Byrd and Purcell contrast with the antiphones and consort pieces of the early Elisabethan era - quiet contemplation and reflection, anticipation and fulfillment!
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