Monday, December 19, 2011

How Brightly Shines the Morning Star / Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, Philipp Nicolai

Philipp Nicolai, pasor, poet and composer of 16th-century Germany, "published the chorale first in 1599 in his book FrewdenSpiegel deß ewigen Lebens (The Joyous Mirror of Eternal Life) in Frankfurt, together with Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme ("Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern," Wikipedia). A good bio of Nicolai in the English website Hymns and Carols of Christmas. He also wrote the lyrics and music for "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme." Together, they are sometimes known as the king and queen of chorales.

Bach cantata BWV 1. Thus saith Wikipedia: "Bach wrote the chorale cantata in his second annual cycle for the feast of the Annunciation on 25 March. ... The cantata was chosen by the Bach-Gesellschaft to begin their first publication of Bach's complete works in 1851."

The website has lead sheet and SATB sheet music harmonized by J.S. Bach

J. S. Bach - chorale from Cantata "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern", BWV 1 (1/-) St. Thomas' Episcopal School, Houston, Christmas Concert, 2009

Also on YouTube a series of six segments on YouTube of a recording of BWV 1 - Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern by Ton Koopman, conducting the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir, beginning at

Michael Praetorius has a lovely choral version.
Polyhymnia Caduceatrix et Panegyrica (1619). Musica Fiata, La Capella Ducale, Dir: Roland Wilson. Uploaded by GustavAdolphusRex on Oct. 29, 2010.

(Also available on YouTube is a 17-minute video recorded wild from the audience at a concert in Italy (?) performed by Concerto da EMM- Coro da EMM.)

Congregation singing "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" [Wo hell schient us de nee'e Steern] in Plattdeutsch. Gottesdienst am 25. Januar 2009 in der evangelisch-lutherischen St. Petrikirche in Langen bei Bremerhaven.

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