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Texas Early Music Project
13915 Burnet Road, Suite 402 
Austin, TX 78728
(512) 377-6961

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TEMP is a performing ensemble and not a presenting organization or an agency. Please do not contact TEMP about hosting other early music groups.
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13915 Burnet Road, Suite 402
Austin, TX 78728
United States

(512) 377-6961

Founded in 1987 by Daniel Johnson, the Texas Early Music Project is dedicated to preserving and advancing the art of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical music through performance, recordings, and educational outreach. 

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Explore more than 700 years of musical transformation

Filtering by Tag: Gaudete

On the Fourth Day of Early Christmas … the history of a famous carol!

Danny Johnson

 
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So there are these carols that many of us have sung since grade school—well, at least back in the old days when we sang them in school—and they are evocative of Dickensian times and visualizations fostered by viewings of many versions of “A Christmas Carol” and Scrooge and Tiny Tim, et al.; of course we didn’t really wonder about the true beginnings of these songs. (By the way, here’s a first: I’ve got a special gift for the first person to correctly name my first solo in school; it was in the 6th-grade Christmas concert. There are those who think I’ve gone downhill since then…)

“Good Christian Men, Rejoice” began as In dulce jubilo, which was taught to the mystic Seuse or Suso by angels in the 14th century. It went through some variations in the 15th and 16th centuries before Michael Praetorius made several settings of it as did many of the other leading composers. The harmonization that is commonly used in hymnals is John Stainer’s (19th century) based on the tune that is found in the Piae Cantiones (Finland, 1582), which happens to be the same source for the Gaudete from Day 3 of our journal.

And why am I mentioning this at all? Because TEMP performs a unique arrangement of In dulci jubilo that no one else anywhere does—as far as I know! Two different imitative settings by Michael Praetorius, one instrumental and one vocal—both are virtuosic—followed by a verse by him in chorale style for four voices and then one for three voices and instruments set by Buxtehude. The fourth verse is a massive 8-voice setting by Hieronymus Praetorius with rich textures and subtle harmonic surprises; we then return to the graceful Buxtehude setting for the ‘coda.' Here is an excerpt from the 8-voice setting from our CD Swete was the Songe.

And then Tiny Tim says, “God bless us, everyone!” Ok, not really. After that 7 minutes of musical calisthenics, we move to the Lowlands for…well, we’ll talk about that tomorrow!

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That is all. As you were.
See you in 9-11 days, depending on which concert you come to!

Click to buy tickets for our Christmas concerts on Dec. 11, 12, & 13.

Click to buy tickets for our Christmas concerts on Dec. 11, 12, & 13.

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On the Third Day of Christmas we re-visit a rock band reference!

Danny Johnson

 
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Today's Treat: Alright, hands up! How many remember the wonderfully gnarly and spirited version of Gaudete that the British folk-rock group Steeleye Span recorded in the 70s? Yes, their pronunciation (“Gau-day-tay”) left choral conductors and educators a little, um, exasperated, but it was mind-bending and really crossed all sorts of cultural lines. They recorded it as a processional with a fade-in, fade-out effect: it was so great. You can hear the pronunciation in all its glory in this video from their 35th Anniversary tour.

TEMP is performing Gaudete again at this year's Christmas concert with just enough changes in the arrangement to keep the performers on their toes. Its origin is a little more veiled than the straightforwardness of the recording might suggest. It was published in 1582 in the Piae Cantiones, a collection in Finland of late Medieval songs from about 1430, many of which were Czech traditional songs. The melody is also known as a 15thc.– 16thc. Czech folksong, as a chorale tune in Germany, and was also used as a grace before meals in Martin Luther’s time.

Though the pronunciation and vocal technique will be more in line with historically informed performance, it will still be spirited and raucous (maybe not too gnarly) and, we think, mind-bending!

An Early Christmas in 10 days. In Austin.
Ex Maria Virginay Gaudaytay!

Click to buy tickets for our Christmas concerts on Dec. 11, 12, & 13.

Click to buy tickets for our Christmas concerts on Dec. 11, 12, & 13.

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12 Days of TEMP Christmas: Days 3 & 4

Danny Johnson

DAY 3 TREAT (DEC. 3, 2014):

Alright, hands up! How many remember Gaudete, the wonderfully gnarly and spirited version that the British folk-rock group Steeleye Span recorded in the 70s? Yes, their pronunciation left choral conductors and educators a little, um, exasperated, but it was mind-bending and really crossed all sorts of cultural lines. TEMP is performing it for the first time at this year’s Christmas concert. I can’t wait! Though the pronunciation will be more in line with historically informed performance, it will still be spirited and raucous.

An Early Christmas in Europe in 10 days. Except we’ll be in Austin.

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DAY 4 TREAT (DEC. 4, 2014):

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Our guest harpist, Therese Honey—the fabulous Therese Honey—is playing Nos galan in our Christmas concert. Great, one might think. What the heck is that? 

It possibly originated in Wales in the 16th century, but there are no remnants of the Welsh version of the words. The tune was first printed in 1784 and then became a Welsh folk carol for the New Year. The one they call “Haydn” included the melody in a vocal/piano piece, though it might have been written by one of his students.

The lyrics as we know them were first published in New York in 1881 and really have nothing to do with the original carol. Yes, it’s “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly” but, since it’s a flashy harp solo with amazing variations, there will be no falalalalalalalas heard.

That is all. As you were. See you in 9-11 days, depending on which concert you come to!

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