Product details

om125 / Volume 2
Georg Gebel (1709–1753)
Jauchzet, ihr Himmel! Erfreue dich, Erde! (Rudolstadt 1748)
Christmas oratorio
for soloists and choir (SATB), 2 Trp, Tmp, Fl, Ob, Bsn, Str and Bc
Edited by Boje E. Hans Schmuhl
in collaboration with Ute Omonsky and Bert Siegemund
Volume editor: Bert Siegemund

The Musikalische Andacht am Heiligen Christ-Abende (Devotions for Christmas Eve) – the Christmas oratorio – by Georg Gebel, court kapellmeister in Rudolstadt, opens in dazzling, festive radiance with the chorus “Jauchzet, ihr Himmel! Erfreue dich Erde!” (Rejoice, ye heavens! Be glad, o Earth). What a place, what a composer, that could reveal this magnificent glory? The residence of the Prince of Schwarzburg in Rudolstadt experienced a cultural heyday in the middle of the 18th century and became a true Court of the Muses, where arts and sciences flourished. By 1748, the royal ensemble had become an orchestra with 33 musicians, one of which was Georg Gebel, who was recognized as a child prodigy from an early age – initially as concertmaster, since 1750 as director. It is little wonder that, with “his good scientific musical knowledge and adroitness”, Gebel soon wrote numerous compositions which he added to the court orchestra’s repertoire. Among “the extraordinary quantity of his vocal and instrumental pieces, (since he wrote whole symphonies with unbelievable speed and often over a cup of coffee in noisy company) […]”, the Christmas oratorio is of particular importance. Gebel’s synthesis of gallant-style writing with preservation of its baroque roots and the likeable topical relevance carried this oratorio safely through changes in musical taste and kept it popular for an extraordinarily long time. In Rudolstadt itself, this Christmas music was “still performed every year at the Christmas matins” at least until the second decade of the 19th century, and “this masterpiece still met with great acclaim.”

Go back