Today is December 22nd and for the last two weeks, it seems like Carl and I have spent every free moment typing the bulletins for this coming weekend. There are SIX bulletins/booklets to be prepared, and as of now, only three of them are finished. At this time on Monday, Carl was wailing, “Kathy — it’s the Monday before Christmas, and NONE of the bulletins are finished. I’ve NEVER been this late before!” Essentially we are starting from scratch, since we were not able to access Carl’s old computer files (they were in a format only the old Macintosh SE could read, and that computer died this fall.) Allen Bauchle, our assistant, has created many of the music files, and although we had some hard-copy printouts, scanning the music was not of sufficiently high quality in Carl’s estimation. Our bulletins are very labor-intensive not only because of all the music which is inserted, but all the foreign language translations. The Christmas Eve bulletin alone is 28 pages, and it has taken us at least two weeks of work and many late nights!
We have been so totally consumed by this project that 1) We have not done one bit of Christmas shopping, even on-line; 2) Our annual Crosier Chronicle is only a thought at this point. We’ll be lucky to get it done by New Year’s. 3) I really should have spent the time practicing.
Tonight, though, is our first orchestra rehearsal at which we will practice Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, and the cantatas for the St. Stephen’s Day Vespers at 7 pm. Tomorrow night’s orchestra rehearsal will be entirely devoted to the Praetorius Christmas Mass and hymns. Luckily many of my students have taken off for Christmas break, so my next two afternoons are free. I just called the printshop and they will be closed on Friday which means everything has to be finished TODAY. Yikes!
Here’s a list of just the music for the late night Christmas Eve service: (Everything is scored for orchestra: strings, winds, brass, timpani, 2 harpsichords and 2 organs)
1. Bach, Christmas Oratorio (9 movements, including choruses, arias, chorale, etc.)
2. Oli and Orison “Na kakou I hanau’ia ai” (set to a tune by Praetorius)
3. Introit hymn, “A child is born in Bethlehem) (setting by Praetorius)
4. Kyrie eleison from Missa ganz Teudsch (setting by Praetorius)
5. Glory sei Gott from Missa ganz Teudsch (setting by Praetorius)
6. Psalm 96 from the Becker Psalter (setting by Heinrich Schütz)
7. Sequence Hymn: From heaven above to earth I come (setting by Praetorius)
8. Hymn of the Day: Quempas: He whom shepherds once came praising (setting by Praetorius) — this is done “round-robin” style, with soloists processing to four corners of the church on each verse.
9. Credo: We all believe in one true God (Wir glauben all)
10. Offertory: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (setting by Praetorius)
11. Sanctus: Isaiah in a vision did of old (Jesaja dem Propheten)
12. Agnus Dei: O Christ thou lamb of God (O Lamm Gottes unschuldig)
13. Communion: Paduana 6 (Johann Hermann Schein)
14. Communion Hymn: He smiles within his cradle (Ein Kindlein in der wiegen)
15. Recessional Hymn: Unto us a child is born (Puer Nobis nascitur)
16. Recessional: In dulci jubilo (setting by Praetorius)