An instrumental version of Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, performed by Voices of Music. Live, 4K UHD video from the Virtuoso Concerto concert, December 17, 2016.
Michael Praetorius was one of the most important composers and theorists of the late renaissance and early-17th century. His astonishing encyclopedia of music gives us an intriguing glimpse into the instruments and performance practices of the time, and his writing covers all aspects of music. Praetorius wrote popular hymn settings, as well as large-scale compositions that borrowed elements of the Italian polychoral tradition. Praetorius was a tune collector, just like the musicologists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who collected songs and dances from different countries; he planned eight volumes of these secular works, but he only finished one: his book of French instrumental dances Terpsichore, named after the muse of dance (1612).
Es ist ein Ros entsprungen is Praetorius’s setting of a preexisting tune which appears in 1609 in the Speyer hymnal. The text paraphrases the themes in Isaiah 11:1, “A shoot will grow from the root of Jesse, and the branch from the roots will bear fruit.”
In the early 17th century, it was common practice to adapt vocal music for all kinds of instrumental performance. Here we have adapted the music to the pavan rhythm that was popular c1600-1615: ♩ ♫ ♩ ♫ ♩ ♫
Voices of Music
Hanneke van Proosdij and David Tayler
Musicians (left to right)
Carla Moore, Gabrielle Wunsch, Lisa Grodin and
Maxine Nemerovski, baroque violins
Maria Caswell, baroque viola
Peter Maund, frame drum
Elisabeth Reed and Tanya Tomkins, baroque cellos
Farley Pearce, violone
David Tayler, archlute
Hanneke van Proosdij, baroque organ