In Dulci Jubilo - German Christmas Songs From Five
RUNDFUNKCHOR BERLIN, SIMON HALSEY
Christmas carols are such an essential part of the Advent and Christmas season that one might almost think they have existed since the birth of Christianity. They were by no means common from the beginning, however – Christmas itself is a relatively recent phenomenon, around 200 years younger than Easter. The earliest examples of Christmas carols are written either in Latin or a combination of Latin and German. Several of them are familiar to everyone: In dulci jubilo can be traced back to approximately 1335. Several other songs from existing collections have been known for centuries, although not always originally in German, such as the wonderfully mystical Es kommt ein Schiff geladen [A Ship Is Coming] (15th century), Es ist ein Ros entsprungen [Behold a Branch Is Growing] (1587 – the version by Michael Praetorius, to this day the loveliest, dates from 1609), and, of course, the familiar songs with texts translated.