Martin Luther's reforms changed the liturgy from a purely sacramental act into an occasion for proclamation, and in his view the divine gift of music had a special role to play in proclaiming the Word. Music in church was not ornament or diversion, but an essential part of worship; sacred music not only interpreted scripture in a manner of sermon, but possessed the additional virtue that through music the meaning of the words was enhanced and the spirit of the listener moved to direct emotional acceptance of the Gospel: "Music is to be praised as second only to the Word of God because by her are all the emotions swayed," wrote Luther. The Reformation thus set the stage for a glorious era of liturgical music in Lutheran Germany which lasted until the death of Johann Sebastian Bach. This recording offers a small sample of this rich repertoire.
- Scott Metcalfe, Director
works of Schütz, Schein, Scheidt, Tunder, Johann Sebastian Bach, Luther, Micheal Praetorius, Johann Cristoph Bach, and Buxtehude.
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