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Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (04/13/16)
Composer: Homilius, Gottfried August
Sample Producer: Voxus Virtual Organs
Sample Set: Müller Grote of Sint Bavo extended
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Baroque
Gottfried August Homilius (2 February 1714 – 2 June 1785) was a German composer, cantor and organist. He is considered one of the most important church composers of the generation following Bach's, and was the main representative of the empfindsamer style. (The German "empfindsamer stil" seeks to express personal emotions and sensitivity.

Homilius was born in Rosenthal, Saxony, the son of a Lutheran pastor, and was educated at the Annenschule in Dresden. He then studied law at Leipzig University and the organ under Johann Sebastian Bach. From 1742 he was organist at the Dresden Frauenkirche, and from 1755 until his death cantor at the Kreuzkirche in Dresden with the associated responsibility of music director at the Kreuzkirche, the Sophienkirche, and the Frauenkirche. After the destruction of the Kreuzkirche during the Seven Years' War he worked mainly at the Frauenkirche.

Homilius predominantly composed church music: more than 10 passions, an oratorio for Christmas (1777) and one for Easter, over 60 motets, more than 150 cantatas (six arias from these appeared in 1786), chorales, preludes, and choral works.

The chorale prelude "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele" is an absolute delight and an unassuming masterpiece. Rather than being as long-spun or eloquent as Bach, it is rather brief, with its wonderful "counter subject" of a few 32nd notes fluttering in an almost "teasing" manner.

Picture yourself, if you will, in a dark mood and in this huge dark church. All is dark...

Then the music begins. It gently urges and engages in an almost laughing manner to let the lifting joy of God enter the soul - as a sunbeam enters through the smallest crack...

I always do 2 takes. This one, the far better of the two, has a little "blip" one time, which I hope you will excuse...

The score is attached, as well as photo of a painting of Homilius.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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