5th centenary of Martin Luther’s Reformation
Corale luterano e musica nel rito tridentino
Concerto Vocale La Stagione Armonica
organ Carlo Rossi
conductor Sergio Balestracci
music Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann, Joseph Klug,
Johann Walter, Johann Christoph Bach, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
In order to involve the faithful in the services, the Protestant Reformation (the 500th anniversary of which is celebrated this year) promoted the composition of choral works to be sung by all the participants, and Latin was abandoned in favour of the vernaculars. But if the first choral melodies were rather simple, by Bach’s time they were enriched with elaborate harmonies. See for example the most famous of Luther’s chorales, Ein feste Burg, adapted by Klug and Walter in the 16th century, and by Bach and Telemann in the 18th. On the other side, also the Catholic Revival was fought on musical grounds, and it was Palestrina who introduced new polyphonic procedures to make sure lyrics were intelligible. See his Missa L’Homme armé, paraphrasing a well-known popular melody often used in the holy repertoire.